Updated: Sep 2
Trichy: The two-day wildlife census conducted at Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary in Kodiyakarai forest of Nagapattinnam concluded on Sunday. Conducted by the forest department, volunteers from a few colleges were roped in for the census. The team members were led by members of biodiversity conservation foundation (BCF), Trichy.
The sanctuary, spread across 21.47 sq km, is a unique blend of terrestrial, mangrove and sea shore ecosystem. While the sanctuary is known for its black buck population, estimating its numbers is crucial for the sanctuary managers to plan future conservation.
The main objective of the census was to enumerate quantitative population of large mammals and population diversity of mammalian species. The census will help the sanctuary managers know whether the habitant improvement activities are having a positive impact on the wildlife population. “For instance, prosopis juliflora – the exotic weed was removed from the area during the past 5-6 years improving the growth of grass lands. Whether it has impacted the population of black bucks and spotted deer has to be seen in the outcome of the census,” said S Ramasubramanian, conservator of forests, Thanjavur circle.
“While we have carried corrective measures, we cannot expect phenomenal increase in the population within a year as it is a continuous process. But we need to create conducive atmosphere in the sanctuary. The outcome of the census will help us plan our activities,” he said.
At present, there are 600-800 black bucks in the sanctuary. About 25 of them were trapped in the storm in 2018 and swept away to Karaikal and were washed ashore in the subsequent days, said the forest officials.
“Large-scale deaths were reported in the sanctuary in November 2018 when Cyclone Gaja lashed the area,” said founder-director of Biodiversity Conservation Foundation (BCF) A Kumaraguru. The census also enumerates the population of other wildlife species such as mongoose, pangolin, spotted deer and jackal in the sanctuary, he said.