Hyderabad: The field survey to assess wild animals population in Amrabad Tiger Reserve (ATR) has aided in direct sighting of a few critically endangered (Indian Star Tortoise), endangered (wild dogs), near threatened (Black Buck) and different categories of species in the reserve.
These sightings will now help the forest officials to initiate more measures and create the required ecology for increasing the population of such species in ATR.
The survey was conducted in April this year to estimate the population size, to assess water availability and utility of water bodies by wild animals during summers and suggest measures for effective monitoring of prey species.
Population estimate survey covered the entire area of ATR, which is spread over 2,611 sq km. During the survey, forest officials directly sighted one Indian Star Tortoise (critically endangered), 10 Wild dogs (endangered) 11 Black Bucks (Near threatened) and other vulnerable species, including three leopards, 25 sloth bears, 178 sambars and 25 four-horned antelopes.
It is a good sign. Since the required data along with latitude and longitude coordinates is now available, local range officials can now focus more on increasing the population of such species in their Annual Plan of Action, said a senior official from the department.
As part of the survey, the estimation of tiger prey population density of spotted deer, Sambar, Nilgai, wild pigs, four horned antelope and Chinkara etc was also done by the officials. In terms of population, spotted deer along with wild pigs occupied first place with 2.40 individuals per every square km, followed by Sambar with 1.65 individuals per every square km, Nilgai with 1.41 individuals per square km and Common Langur with 1.37 per square km.
Water hole census
In addition to wild animals’ population estimate survey, the ATR officials also conducted a study on water holes to assess water availability and utility of water bodies by animals, especially during summers.
In ATR, there are different water bodies, including natural spring, natural stream, river, check dam, percolation tank, water tank (Pond and lake), solar percolation tanks and saucer pits. Each water body type was grouped as one category and the estimated total count of each species was conducted accordingly.
During the water hole census, as many as 43 species, including 17 mammals, 25 aves and one reptile were recorded. Interestingly, domestic cattle varieties (sheep and goat) were also recorded at the water bodies during the exercise.
It was found that majority of animals are using the water holes during early morning hours from 6 am to 9 am and between 4 pm and 6 pm.
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