Hyderabad: Forest department staff and officers, right from Base camp watchers up to the level of PCCF, along with volunteers and members of various NGOs involved in nature and wildlife conservation activities, participated in a two-day waterholes census in the State on May 11 and 12.
A total number of 104 volunteers, divided into 43 teams, visited Amrabad Tiger Reserve, Kawal TR and Eturnagaram Wildlife Sanctuary. The teams visited 241 water bodies during the two-day exercise and made two trips, once in the morning and again in late evening. Each team was accompanied by a local Forest staffer to guide them in the jungle.
The teams spent the night in base camps with the Forest department making arrangements in these locations for them. The department also made arrangements for transportation. Three buses with NGOs left from Aranya Bhavan on Saturday morning. In addition to recording evidence of wildlife at the water holes in the form of pugmarks, foot prints, scats and droppings, volunteers reported direct sighting of animals such as Panther, wild dog, sloth bear, sambar, spotted deer, nilgai, chousingha and wild pig at ATR. Panther pug marks, direct sighting of Indian Bison, nilghai, sambar, chousingha (konda gorre), spotted deer at KTR.
They reported sighting of Gaur (Indian Bison), nilgai, a variety of snakes, and birds at Eturnagaram. Based on the inputs received from the teams involved in the census, the Forest Department will take additional measures and precautions for improving wildlife protection issues. The NGOs, who took part in the exercise are Friends of Snakes Society, WWF, Deccan Birders, HYTICOS, FWPS and individual volunteers.
PCCF and HoFF (Head of Forest Force) PK Jha appreciated the commitment of NGOs and thanked them for participating in the important exercise. He also appreciated the efforts put forth by the entire staff of the Forest department for two days despite oppressive hot spell. (NSS)