Tiger like pug marks enthuse Goa wildlife officials | india | Hindustan Times
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Tiger like pug marks enthuse Goa wildlife officials

The finding of pug marks similar to that of tiger has enthused forest department officials ahead of a wildlife census scheduled at the end of this month in the state which is believed to be bereft of big cat population.

india Updated: Apr 17, 2010 18:02 IST

The finding of pug marks similar to that of tiger has enthused forest department officials ahead of a wildlife census scheduled at the end of this month in the state which is believed to be bereft of big cat population.

"We found certain pugmarks in the wildlife," Dr Gautam Talukdar, an expert from Wildlife Institute of India (WII) said, adding a detailed analyzing of the sample would yield proper assessment of the animal.

The official was part of a two-member team that trained Goa forest department officers for the census for three days.

Talukdar has said that qualitative analysis of these pug marks needs to be done before confirming any animal.

The state is readying to host wildlife animal census in all its six wildlife sanctuaries and government owned forest areas. The survey will begin on April 26 and conclude on May 4, 2010.

Four tigers were found during the last census in Goa in 2006 but it was later said that they had strayed from neighbouring states.

A team of 330 people including forest department staff will search every inch of forest for clues or signs to know the movement or existence of animals.

A forest department officer said that spread over three phases, the survey will also employ camera trapping method in its third leg.

"The cameras with censor would be installed in wildlife which will click photograph of any animal or creature that crosses it," he said.

A survey of carnivorous animals would be conducted initially followed by herbivorous ones, he said.

The census will also study habitat disturbance in the forest and wildlife sanctuaries.

Talukdar said that habitat disturbance can be due to cutting of trees, human intervention, cattle grazing and weeds.

"There are different reasons but we are interested to see whether this disturbance has impacted the animals," he added.