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All India Coordinated Tiger Census to be held in Sunderbans in two phases

All India Coordinated Tiger Census to be held in Sunderbans in two phases

kolkata: The All India Coordinated Tiger Census will be held in Sunderbans in two phases from December 5 to January 6 under Sunderban Tiger Reserve (STR) area and from January 8 to February 10 under the jurisdiction of South 24-Parganas forest division.

Field Director STR, Tapas Das, said camera grids would be placed at 748 locations with two cameras in each of the locations for doing the exercise.

The three-day training of the trainers to be involved in the exercise ended on Thursday. "The main purpose of the training programme was to empower the trainees in handling the android phone based applications of M-STrIPES (Monitoring System for Tigers-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status)- a software introduced in 2010 by the National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA). The software enables data collection and analysis. The application logs earlier findings in an area, authenticates the findings through geo-tagging of photos, and this results in more accurate assessment of tiger numbers," a senior official of the state Forest department said.

The Science Survey exercise, which is being taken up for the first time this year, to be held from December 18 to 24 will involve not only the survey of the tigers but the other animals in Sunderbans.

"The M-STrIPES has been integrated in a manner so that we can use it for the Science Survey. The basic difference is the fact that the science survey exercise in Sunderbans is held by using boats and not on foot. The National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA) and Wildlife Institute of India (WWI) has helped us in this area," the official added.

In the last census, the tiger count in Bengal was found to have increased to 88 from 76 in 2014. After the survey, the department will do the

data collection and analysis exercise in March 2022 and will submit the findings to NTCA in April.

Not only the Sunderbans, which is famous for its Royal Bengal Tiger -the forests in North Bengal like Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR), Gorumara National Park, Jaldapara National Park, Chapramari National Park will also be covered in the census.

The All India Coordinated Tiger Census is done with coordination of NTCA every three years.

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