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Forest Department to take up census at national parks

Special Correspondent
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The census of animals, birds and reptiles at national parks in the city and its suburbs will be taken up in the first week of May.

Volunteers roped in

For the annual exercise, to be conducted at Mrugavani National Park at Chilkur and KBR National Park at Jubilee Hills, forest authorities have roped in volunteers from different animal welfare groups. Along with departmental staff, they are being imparted training in the enumeration operation.

“About 30 volunteers from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and Animal Rehabilitation and Protection Front (ARPF) have already joined the training.

The census at Mrugavani Park will be done on May 4 and at KBR Park on May 5,” said Divisional Forest Officer K. Mohan.

The 2012 census for Mrugavani National Park, Chilkur, which is about 18 km from the city in Moinabad mandal, accounted for 20 species of mammals, 130 of birds and 20 of reptiles, apart from more than 600 plant and 138 medicinal plant species.

At the KBR National Park, the enumerators took a count of more than 600 different plant species and also 79 bird and 133 mammal species.

At the 1,100 acre-national park at Chilkur, enumerators will cover a third of the area and count different species and their numbers using two methods:a direct sighting method and another, indirect.

“The indirect survey method takes note aspects such as fecal pellets and quill,” he said.

A similar census has also been scheduled at another major facility, the Mahavir Harina Vanasthali National Park at Vanasthalipuram in the first week of May.

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