Animals

National wildlife institute to conduct its maiden census in Abohar sanctuary

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Bathinda Wildlife Institute of India (WII) The first animal census is set to take place at the Shri Guru Gambeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary near Abuhar in Vasylka district using modern technology such as drones. To date, the state authorities have conducted a census.

The exercise, expected to begin within a month, will help add a new dimension in understanding the challenges faced by wildlife in an open reserve, said Nalin Yadav, a forestry official in Firozpur district.

For the first time in Punjab, drones and other modern measures will be used for a detailed census of wildlife. Punjab at the Dehradun-based institute is seeking a more scientific and accurate method of checking a number of different species in the sanctuary,” added the Office for the Coordination of Foreign Affairs. Officials added that a census should be conducted at regular intervals to ensure the safety of wildlife.

“We wrote to WII, the top national wildlife census body, last year to conduct the census. It was postponed indefinitely amid the Covid-19 crisis. Now, the institute has given its approval and the census is likely to start by the first week of January in collaboration with life experts. Wilderness in Punjab”.

Located in the heart of the eco-loving community of Bishnois, Jambeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary is unique in that it is wholly owned by individuals or panchayats. A group of 13 villages in Seto Juno Zele were declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1989 based on the community’s demand to protect wildlife on their own lands.

Previous censuses have shown that the community reserve is home to hundreds of endangered blackback, Punjab gull, blue bull or nilgai, and other wild boars. There are no restrictions on general movement, members of the Bishnoi community voluntarily protect against poaching.

According to the 2011 wildlife census, there were about 3,500 animals and six years later, the number was calculated around 3,200. The sources added that the last time such a survey was conducted was in 2017 by the Punjab Wildlife Department. Its purpose was to audit the sanctuary before expanding the Abu Har-Debwali Road (National Highway-354E).

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