Baripada: Tiger census commenced at the Similipal National Park in Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district, today.
The census will continue till the end of this month, official sources said.
“The census is being carried out in 173 beats of 16 ranges in the Tiger Reserve Project and Baripada, Rairangpur and Karanjia Forest Division areas. It will be held from 9 am to 4 pm everyday till October 31. Camera trapping will be done between November and January. Pugmarks and stool samples will be collected for DNA sampling. Eventually, all data will be submitted to the government in the form of a report,” said Dr. Prakash Chand Gogineni, Director of Similipal Tiger Reserve.
Worth mentioning, confusion has been prevailing over the number of tigers in Similipal for the last few years. Recently, national media had reported that Similipal housed 20 tigers.
On the other hand, the Forest Department has seized several tiger hides while it was yet to be ascertained whether those belong to the big cats of Similipal or not.
The ongoing census is expected to bring clarity over the number of tigers in Similipal.