The All India Tiger Census, which is conducted once in four years, will be held in Karnataka from Monday. Officials of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve are expecting to return with top honours when the census ends on December 20. About 350 people from all over the state will take part in the census, which is the biggest in the country, according to forest officials.
As a first step, the enumerators will be trained by the forest officials for two days at Bandipur, Biligiriranga Tiger Reserve, Malai Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, Chamarajanagar, Dandeli–Anshi Tiger Reserve, Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, Nagarhole National Park, Kudremukh National Park and Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary.
According to director of Bandipur Tiger Reserve, SK Kantaraju, the entire country will undertake the exercise from Monday, the first two days of which will be set aside for logistics training.
According to the census of 2009, there were 1,740 tigers in the wild in the country and Karnataka topped the charts with 400 tigers. “We expect it to be more this year and the final number might reach 1,800 when the census concludes. But again, we do not know the nature’s ways,” Kantaraju said.
This time an additional wildlife sanctuary has come into being in Malai Mahadeshwara Hills, which is a part of Chamarajanagar district. District forest officer Javed Mumtaz said of the total of 400 tigers in Karnataka, Malai Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary alone has over 100 tigers.
“If the enumeration goes as planned, I am sure Karnataka would top the list in the number of tigers in the country,” he said.