Wildlife department to launch app to record sighting of wildlife species
In a bid to better prepare themselves for rescues and accurately track wildlife in the state, the forest department will launch a cellphone app that will record the precise location of species on a daily basis.
The department will record sightings of each wildlife species in the district, and officials said the app will have details of each rescue operation, sighting, distribution of wildlife species and their movements. Each district will have their own application, connected to a central server monitored by senior officers at Panchkula.
Officials also said they will create a map of the distribution of animals based on the information from the app.
Vinod Kumar, additional principal chief conservator of forests, said that the app, which will be launched in December, will also record all rescue operations, along with its location and provide inputs necessary for the assessment of man-animal conflict. “We will assess performance and field observation by wildlife staff and also take inputs for the creation of water points, when and where required. “We are in the process of creating a portal to demarcate the boundaries of the forest area shown on satellite imagery. The complete project will cost us nearly ₹18 lakh, which ₹4 lakh will be spent on developing the app for wildlife mapping,” he said.
The app will only be used by the wildlife officials, who will also photograph each rescue operation and upload the same from the spot to ensure the app detects the location automatically.
There are nearly four to five wildlife rescue operation across the state on a daily basis. The application will help officials prepare a species distribution map based on an area’s climactic conditions. It will also record the number of rescue operations from the same spot. “It will also help us to maintain a record of specific species, as we do not have exact data of wildlife in the Aravallis,” Kumar said.
In August last year, the department had done drone-mapping and identified 20 species in the Aravallis like leopards, hyenas, monkeys, deer, nilgai , jackals, mongoose, porcupines, jungle cats, a variety of birds, snakes, monitor lizards and other reptiles.
Officials said there are hundreds of rescue operations throughout the year, but said they don’t have district-wise data of the number of species found in a given area.