Coimbatore

Census on problematic Indian gaur-human interaction under way

For the first time, the Forest Department will study parameters related to problematic human-gaur interactions in the forest ranges surrounding the district’s major towns as part of an annual wildlife census exercise.

The census, which started on Tuesday, will be conducted for five days in all the 11 forest ranges, officials said.

K.Saravanakumar, Assistant Conservator of Forests, Nilgiris division, said movement of wildlife in the forest ranges would be recorded meticulouslyover the first four days. “On the fifth day, in the ranges and beats surrounding major towns, information about the number of Indian gaur, their movement patterns, the habitats they use, as well as any potential injuries they are carrying will be recorded,” he explained.

The initiative is part of an effort to understand and mitigate the causes for problematic human-gaur interactions in the Nilgiris division, which led to the deaths of three persons and injuries to seven others in different incidents in the division last year.

Officials said that more than 60 volunteers would be taking part in the census. Training was given to them on Monday. The volunteers, accompanied by forest staff, will take part in the census across 11 ranges and more than 60 beats.

On the fifth day of the exercise, the population of the State animal, the endangered Nilgiri tahr, spilling over from its predominant range in the Mukurthi National Park to the Nilgiris division will also be studied.

Officials said the animal is seen in six beats in the division, and its numbers seem to be increasing.

There has been a substantial increase in the numbers recorded in the Mukurthi National Park and surrounding areas over the last decade.

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Printable version | Dec 1, 2020 7:38:46 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/census-on-problematic-indian-gaur-human-interaction-under-way/article30795421.ece

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