Rajkot, Gujarat, India: The forest officials here are all set to conduct a comprehensive and methodological lion census at the Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary in Rajkot, India. “GIS and GPS are being used in this year’s census,” said Sandeep Kumar, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary.
“On that basis, we can say what is the composition of land and where they are exactly located during the census period. We will plot it on the GIS map,” he added.
A team comprising more than 1600 people, including forest officials, regional officers, zonal officers, enumerators and volunteers, will conduct the census at the national park from April 23 to 27. Kumar said, “The preparations for the census are on for the last nine months and the lions are being closely monitored in their natural habitat. Forest officials are expecting an increase in the lion population as recorded in the previous census.” During the 2005 census, 359 lions were found in the Gir.
“If you see the population of the lions in the last 6-7 census continuously, the trend of the population shows that there is an increase in every census. This time of course, we are expecting an increase in the population,” continued Kumar.
Besides the national forest area, the lions can also be located in the reserve forest area, protected forest area outside the Gir sanctuary, other wastelands and the villages in the region.
Narendra Modi, Chief Minister, Gujarat, India is expected to announce the census on May 1, when the state celebrates its foundation day.
Source: Oneindia News