Gujarat: 10,000 chambers for the 2020 lion census
AHMEDABAD: Around 8,000-10,000 cameras will be used to carry out the 2020 census of lions, the last abode of the. Compared to the 15,000sqkm area surveyed in the last census, the lions will be counted in an area of 25,000sqkm covering seven districts.
For the first time, the experience of the Institute of India (WII) will be analyzed in the census, scheduled for May 2020. “The WII has sent a proposal to the Gujarat government and two rounds of meetings have been held to finalize the modalities of the census, ”said the WII scientist and lion expert YV Jhala.
The 2015 census of lions had counted 523 lions in the state. The number is expected to have increased phenomenally with the internal assessments of the forestry department that indicate that the population may have crossed the 1,000 mark.
The sources said the government will adopt the technology (NTCA) for the census of lions. “The forestry department is in the process of finalizing details for the census of lions. We are considering emulating the methodology of the census of tigers, ”said Shyamal Tikadar, chief forest conservator (wildlife).
According to this model, the census area will be divided into a grid of three km each. Field officers will first carry out human surveillance to recover hair, teeth, nails, etc. of animals in a scientific method as established by NTCA. The physical forms will also be completed observing the description of the lions. Around 1,500-2,000 field staff will be employed for the exercise.
In the second phase, 8,000-10,000 cameras would be installed to capture the movement of the lions, a senior official said.