NASHIK: The annual wildlife census conducted on May 25 by the forest department (wildlife) shows an increase in the number of animals and birds in the wild over a period of one year. The annual census is conducted every year on Buddha Purnima day. Data for the annual count is collected by officials keeping a vigil on animals at natural and manmade waterholes in the Nashik region - unlike the detailed process of pug-marking. The process is conducted from midnight to noon the following day.
Through May 25 night and the following day, Nashik forest department officials kept a close watch on the 29 natural waterholes and 34 manmade ones in the region, counting out individual animal species. Data procured and analysed from video clips shot during the vigil shows an upward graph in the number of wild animals, compared to 2012.
"Two or three factors contributed to the increase in in the number of wild animals from 2012. Animals travel over the year; that is a continuous process. They travel between 5-10 km and 100-150 km in a year, and some may have migrated to the region. Another factor is the increase in the number of manmade watering holes and the deepening of natural ones, offering increased availability of water," said Arvind Vispute, conservator of forests (wildlife). "Also, we have set up watch-towers for vigilance, which has lessened the number of infiltrations into the forests. Animal numbers may have thus increased, with lesser disturbance," Vispute added.
This year's census shows 1,817 wild animals, compared to 2012's census count of a total of 674 in Nashik - a rise in total of 1,143 animals over a year.
Source:The Times of India 4 June 2013