Elephant census to be carried out in C’garh (India)


The Hitavada 

Date Published

• Workshop on ‘Human-Elephant and Wildlife Monitoring’ to be held in Ambikapur from September 19.

• A four-member team of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) Dehradun will train forest officials for elephant census techniques.

Forest Department, Government of Chhattisgarh is going to conduct a four-day workshop on “Human-Elephant and Wildlife Monitoring” from September 19 to 22 at Ambikapur in Surguja district of Chhattisgarh. 

A four-member team of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) Dehradun will train forest officials for elephant census techniques. Talking to The Hitavada, Chief Conservator of Forest Surguja Forest Circle Prem Kumar confirmed that the four-day workshop would be held in Ambikapur. Around 40 forest officials from Surguja and Bilaspur forest circles will participate in the training programme, he added. The master trainers will be prepared in the training programme. Later the master trainers will train forest guards and villagers to minimize human and elephant conflict. 
Human-elephant conflicts and its mitigation in India with case studies,elephant census techniques: briefing and demonstration, block sampling with direct count, line transect dung count method, elephant age and sex classification, track plot exercise for ungulates including wild buffalo, sign survey for establishing presence/absence of carnivores and other wildlife species, deployment of camera trap, vegetation and habitat sampling, line transect for estimating abundance of ungulates including wild buffalo and other issues. During training programme, block of 4 square kilometers would be sampled for elephant count. Two kilometers long transect with fixed width would be used to count dung of elephant.
All carnivore signs along the route will be recorded. A small team of 3-4 people will select three-five kilometers routes in the forest and walk. Sign survey will be done earlier in the routes where vehicle movement is likely to destroy the signs. The team will be taken to a representative site for demonstration of vegetation circular plots of 10 m, 5 m and 1 m. The team will sample five plots at 500 m interval for quantification vegetation/habitat parameters. A distance of 3 kms will be walked and information on ungulate species, number, male, female, young and unknown will be recorded on either side of the transect along with sighting distance and sighting angle for each record, a forest officer said. 
After the training programme, Project Elephant Directorate in the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India will recommend Government of Chhattisgarh to carry out an elephant census to determine the population structure, which includes the age, sex and the sex ratio of wild elephants, the officer added.