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23:26 GMT, 10 April 2015
23:26 GMT, 10 April 2015
forest department will use latest technology in a bid to keep track of
Asiatic lions at Gir forest in the first ever hi-tech census, scheduled
to begin next month.
department will use global positioning systems (GPS), geographic
information systems (GIS), tablets and digital cameras to track the king
of the jungle.
In another first, the census has been expanded to 1,500 villages in eight districts of Saurashtra, covering 20,000 square km.
The area of the census has been
expanded to 20,000 square kilometers following a rise in incidents of
lions straying into public places
This has been done following increase in cases of lions straying outside the protected forest areas.
last survey in 2010 covered only three districts and 10,000 square km.
With latest technology at their disposal, the forest department hopes to
achieve utmost accuracy in the census.
As many as 10,000 tablets will be distributed to officials to enable them to record sightings.
to the deputy conservator of forest (wildlife) of Gir Sandeep Kumar, a
remote server will be automatically updated whenever enumerators record
an input in their tablets.
“This way officials in the control room will have continuous real-time information,” he said.
A lion cub which was mowed down by a train in Amreli district
keeping a record on the number of lions, a system has been evolved to
track the direction in which the carnivore is headed.
GIS and GPS will enable the department to estimate every pride’s
movement,” the deputy conservator said while adding that this will
ensure that no two enumerators record the same pride of lions.
“Thus, there will be no overlapping of information and the results will be more accurate,” he said.
will also try and record the identification marks like shape of the
ear, spots on the face and nose, body size, prominence of belly fold,
skin colour and density of hair on the tail among other things on every
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s incident where three cubs were run over by a train, is not new to the national park.
lionesses with her three cubs were crushed to death by a train near
Pipavav in January last year, followed by a lion near Savarkundla in
February and a seven-year-old cub near Rajula in May.
2014, two lions were mowed down by a speeding vehicle on
Bhavnagar-Somnath highway and a nine-month-old lioness was knocked to
death by a vehicle near Gir National Park in June.