The assessment of the status of tigers, co predators and prey in Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu will begin from December 16.

The estimation would be held for eight days in the four states concluding on December 23.

It is part of the first phase of census to be conducted in 19 habitats of tigers in these States. The first phase of census of the animals in the country will end in February 2014, while it will conclude on December 23 in the four southern States, an official of the Periyar Tiger Reserve told The Hindu on Thursday.

The census of other animals like leopard and wild dogs would also be conducted along with it, he said.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority is the coordinating agency of this elaborate census — for which training to the senior level officials were held at different tiger reserves in the country.