Saturday, May 1, 2010

Lion census ends, number may increase.

The four-day long census of Asiatic lions at Gir ended on Tuesday. Forest officers said the lion population may have increased, for many sub-adult lions were observed during the survey. This is due to continuous breeding of the big cat in the past five years, they said. The results will be declared on May 1 to coincide with the Swarnim Gujarat celebrations, forest officers added.
In the previous census of 2004-05, the lion population in Gir was registered at 359.
More than 1,600 forest officers participated in the exercise. For the first time, Global Positioning System (GPS) and Global Information System (GIS) were used and headcount was done instead of tracking pugmarks, as was the case earlier.
Use of baits was also avoided following objections by wildlife activists. Many noted conservationists like Anish Andheria, Lav Kumar Khachchar and retired forest officer Sanat Chauhan participated in the exercise. 

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