Wildlife census after 8 years in May
According to officials, the number of many species is expected to have shot up in Noida from the previous census, with the increase in protected forest area in the district.Updated: Mar 04, 2019 03:47 IST
The forest department will be conducting a statewide wildlife census on May 9 and 10 to take stock of the animal population in all districts and will subsequently suggest a conservation plan.
According to officials, the number of many species is expected to have shot up in Noida from the previous census, with the increase in protected forest area in the district.
The last census was conducted in 2011.
“Increasing wildlife is the sign of a healthy ecosystem, which is good news for urban concrete jungles that we are creating. Increased greenery in Noida over the past few years has also led to an increase in some animal sightings,” PK Srivastava, divisional forest officer, said.
The department announced the dates during the World Wildlife Day celebrations held at various places in the district on Sunday. Awareness drive and programs were organised at Sikandrabad range, Dadri, NTPC and Okhla Bird Sanctuary.
Six teams have been formed for conducting the census in Gautam Budh Nagar. Two teams each will be covering the Sikandrabad range (including Dhanuari and adjoining areas) and the Dadri range (including Surajpur wetland and forest area). One team each will cover the Okhla bird sanctuary and NTPC forest area.
According to the previous census, forest areas in the district support a healthy population of black bucks, nilgai, spotted deer, monkeys and jackals.
Forest department officials said that the population of all these species seems to have increased in the past few years but an updated official count wasn’t available.
“We have also seen an increase in the population of black bucks, nilgai and birds like Sarus crane. It is important to conduct a census so that we know the areas that need better protection and how that this could be managed,” Srivastava said.
Forest department also reported an increase in sightings of animals like spotted deer, fishing cat and monitor lizard that the 2011 census has only counted in small numbers.
The 2011 census counted 122 black bucks, 1939 nilgais, 952 monkeys, 113 peacocks and 160 jackals. 240 animals were also counted in the ‘others’ category that includes various species of reptiles and insects.
Officials said that the conservation plan that would be drafted after the May census will include protection from threats such as poaching and means of encouraging more species to settle in the forest areas.
Based on the 2011 census, the department also started conservation of the Okhla Bird sanctuary that had been neglected for years.
Forest department also conducted a Sarus crane census recently and a bird count had also been undertaken in the district by birding groups.
First Published: Mar 04, 2019 03:47 IST