Wildlife census begins at Sathyamangalam reserve
The biannual six-day wildlife monitoring exercise, using the Android-based mobile application, began at Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) here on Monday.
Under Phase IV monitoring of tiger reserves by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the pre-monsoon survey is being carried out between June and July, while the post-monsoon survey will be held in December– January.
The survey will go on till August 11. During the exercise personnel will monitor carnivore signs, co-predators, pug marks, large herbivore signs, tree bark peelings and direct sighting. Though Monitoring System for Tigers – Intensive Protection and Ecological Status (M-STrIPES) app was introduced during the last post-monsoon survey, data sheets were also used. But this time, only the app is being used to record data.
On Monday, over 300 personnel, including field staff, anti-poaching watchers, and WWF team members, began the survey in the 1.41 lakh hectare reserve, which spreads across seven ranges.
They recorded the sightings and pug marks, took photographs and uploaded the data online in the GPS-enabled app. Officials said that personnel have to cover 48 beats in the two divisions of Sathyamangalam and Hassanur- Sathyamangalam, Bhavani Sagar, Talamalai, Thukkkanaikkenpalayam, Hassanur, Talavadi and Germalam ranges.
On the last day, the collected data will be sent to the NTCA for processing after which the number of tigers, leopards and other wild animals at the STR will be known.