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Successful completion of three-day elephant census in Karnataka’s Bandipur forest

The three-day elephant census in Bandipur Forest, Karnataka, involved extensive data collection methodologies, including direct sightings and water area observations. Approximately 350 Forest Department staff participated, covering 114 beats across the reserve. The census was overseen by dedicated officials and aimed to gain insights into elephant population dynamics for effective conservation strategies.

Successful completion of three-day elephant census in Karnataka's Bandipur forest vkp
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First Published May 27, 2024, 12:24 PM IST

The three-day elephant census in Bandipur Forest, Karnataka, concluded with comprehensive data collection, including an unexpected water wall count on the final day. Bandipur Forest authorities successfully wrapped up the extensive census, which involved various methodologies to assess the elephant population and their movements within the reserve.

Bandipur Assistant Conservator of Forest, Naveen, highlighted the involvement of approximately 350 per cent of the Forest Department staff in the census, demonstrating a robust commitment to wildlife conservation efforts. During the census, which spanned from direct sightings to water area observations, a total of 350 forest guards meticulously covered 114 beats across the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

The census efforts were overseen by a team of dedicated officials, including Bandipur Deputy Conservator of Forest, Prabhakaran S, ACF Naveen, ACF G. Ravindra from Gundlupet, and several Zonal Forest Officers. The census operation involved strategically stationed enumerators at key locations such as elephant corridors, lakes, dykes, and viewing lines, where elephants are known to frequent.

On the first day, enumerators recorded direct sightings of elephants, while the second day involved estimating elephant numbers based on elephants lying on their trunks, a common behaviour observed in the species. The third day presented a unique twist with enumerators stationed at water areas, documenting details such as group size, age distribution, and gender ratios of elephants visiting these spots.

Despite the challenges posed by the rugged terrain and unpredictable wildlife behaviour, the census was completed successfully, with data recorded and compiled.

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