In a first, GPS devices with camera being used in ongoing rhino census at the tiol park
By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, March 25: For the first time, enumerators at the ongoing rhino census at Kaziranga tiol Park are using GPS devices fitted with camera to eble a near-accurate data of the mammal population besides aiding creation of an image database of the endangered inmates which had been threatened by rampant poaching.
Some 50 enumerators are being engaged in the census that began yesterday. The park has been divided into 81 compartments for the exercise, the results of which will be declared on March 28.
Accompanied by observers, the enumerators, which comprise forest officials, NGO representatives, media persons and social activists, are also using sophisticated binoculars.
“During earlier census operations, all the enumerators did not have binoculars. As such we did not have an accurate data of the sex ratio of the rhinos. This time, by using the binoculars, the enumerators can determine the sex of the animal,” park director MK Yadav said.
Yadav said the GPS devices fitted with camera will ensure that the operation is “well-spread” and “all compartments are touched.” “As we will know the location of the each rhino, there will be very little chance of errors or duplication,” an official said. “The enumerators are also trying to take pictures of the animal with which we will try to create an image database of the rhinos. Of course, we have been told that some enumerators are finding it difficult to take pictures from the elephant backs. There have been instances of chasing by rhinos too. Let us see the results,” the park official said. Meanwhile, a mahaut, identified as Paresh Buari, was injured after being attacked by a rhino during the ongoing census. He has been hospitalized.
The field survey of the census will end today. The data will be compiled in the next two days, before it is released officially on March 28. Park officials are, however, upbeat following sightings of several calves and feel that the population will show a healthy growth. The population of precious one-horned rhinos in Kaziranga tiol Park (KNP) was 2329 as per the 2013 census.