Hosur Forest Division trains staff, recruits volunteers for elephant population estimate exercise

The exercise will be carried out on May 17,18 and 19 covering 1,501 sq.km across 40 blocks of the Hosur Forest Division; in the last such exercise carried out in 2017, an estimated 499 elephants were recorded in the Division

Updated - May 15, 2023 04:46 pm IST

Published - May 15, 2023 03:35 pm IST - HOSUR

File photograph used for representational purposes only

File photograph used for representational purposes only

Over 60 forest personnel and about 100 volunteers are expected to participate in the Synchronised Elephant Population Estimation exercise scheduled to be carried out on May 17, 18, and 19 in the Hosur Forest division. Forest personnel participating in the exercise will include anti-poaching watchers, forest watchers, Forest Guards, Foresters, Forest Range Officers; there will also be volunteers aged between 18 to 60 years.  

The elephant population estimation is being carried out as a synchronized exercise in the forest areas of four States: Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Karnataka, and will cover 465 forest blocks in 25 forest divisions.

Under this, over 40 blocks in the Hosur forest division spread over 1,501 sq.km will be covered. This will include the Cauvery North Wildlife Sanctuary, spread over 504.33 sq.km and the Cauvery South Wildlife Sanctuary, spread over 686.406 sq.km.  

According to the Forest Department, on day one on May 17, a block count will be undertaken. On the second day, on May 18, an indirect survey will be conducted in the same blocks by tracking the identified transect lines of 2 km and identifying the elephant dungs on both sides of the lines. On day three, on May 19, a waterhole census will be undertaken to identify the herd composition of the elephants coming to the water bodies in those blocks.

The census will be held from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m. on the first two days; whereas on the third day (waterhole census), the exercise will be a day-long process from 6 a.m up to 6 p.m.

Earlier, during the weekend of May 13-14, an orientation was conducted for the forest personnel on the estimation exercise and first-aid kits were provided to each group. As of Monday, Google forms for participation for volunteers have also been circulated and a separate Whatsapp group has been formed, according to the Forest Department.

The data collected will be sent to Mudumalai Tiger Reserve for compilation, according to the Wildlife Warden K. Karthikeyani. 

In the last elephant population estimation exercise carried out in 2017, an estimated 499 elephants were recorded to be present in the Hosur Forest division. 

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