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Posted at: Dec 5, 2014, 12:02 AM; last updated: Dec 4, 2014, 8:31 PM (IST)

Wildlife Department installs 80 camera traps for animal census

Bipin Bhardwaj

Tribune News Service

Panchkula, December 4

In an attempt to know the exact population and behaviour of wild animals, especially leopards, the state wildlife department and experts from the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, today started installing camera traps in the Kalesar National Park (KNP) in Yamunagar.

This is for the first time the department is using such a method for census purposes to prepare a database of wild animals, birds and other creatures in the wildlife sanctuaries of the state.

Sources in the department revealed that one of the major reasons to install camera traps at the KNP, spread over 13,000 acre and shares its boundaries with Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand, was to confirm the movement and presence of tigers.

Initially, the department plans to install 80 camera traps at 40 sites in Kalesar for which the WII has granted a financial assistance of Rs 20 lakh to the state.

The project was launched by Dr. Amarinder Kaur, Chief Wildlife Warden, under the guidance of Dr Bilal Babib and his team of experts from WII, today.

Talking to TNS, Dr. Kaur claimed to have witnessed a significant increase in the population of Leopards and other big cats in the Shivaliks. Earlier, the department had been using the density methodology in the leopard census and the results were not so accurate as those by the camera trap method.

“The auto-censored camera traps will click pictures of the animals passing through its range and will record them in memory chips. The officials of the areas concerned will then monitor and store the images in computers,” she added.

“This would not only help us in studying the behaviour of wild animals but also in finding other exotic animals or birds in the sanctuary, if any,” she claimed.

The project would also be extended to the Aravali Ranges if the department gets good results in Kalesar, she revealed.

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