Jumbo census begins in Kaziranga (Guwahati, India)


The Shillong Times

Date Published

The Assam forest department on Saturday started its four-day census of
elephants in Assam’s famous Kaziranga National Park.

The authorities are adopting a two pronged approach for the counting
for better results, said Satyendra Singh, Director of the park.

“We are going to go for direct count on the first two days while the
last two days will be for dung count,” Singh said, adding that both
the statistics will be compared to get the final figures. He said the
last census of elephants in the park was done in 2012 and the number
of elephants was found to be 1,165 then.

“It is an exercise we take up every five years. Normally we go for the
direct head count only. However, this time we are resorting to a two
pronged approach to get the exact statistics,” he added. The officials
are expecting to have the complete statistics by next Wednesday.

Singh said that the authorities have divided the park into 71 zones
for the purpose.
“We have stopped the elephant safaris in the park for today
(Saturday). A total of 38 domesticated elephants of the park had been
engaged in the exercise. While 38 elephants will be used to do the
direct counting in 38 zones, census of the rest of the 33 zones will
be taken up tomorrow (Sunday),” he said.

“After the direct count is over, we are going to go for dung count
with the officials, volunteers and experts.”

He said that local people, members of NGOs and some experts from the
Indian Institute of Science, Benga-luru, are also helping the forest
department in the exercise.”A total of 220 field officials of the
forest department have also been engaged in the whole exercise,” Singh

Located about 190-km away from Assam’s main city Guwahati, Kaziranga
National Park is a Unesco world heritage site for conservation.