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| Last Updated:: 28/08/2019

After population explosion, census on Indian gaur slated

 

 

 

 

 

In the wake of an increase in man-Indian gaur conflicts in the Nilgiris, the forest department has planned to conduct a census of the animals in September, a first of its kind.

 

 

According to forest officials, a field study suggests that there is an increase in the gaur population in the hill district. If the census proves that the population of the animal has shot up, practical possibilities will be explored to conduct sterilization to control its population.

Straying of Indian gaurs into human habitats is a common sight in the Nilgiris. In the past four months, four people were killed - two by Indian gaurs and two by elephants - in the Nilgiris forest division.

 

 

 

Guru Swamy Baddal, district forest officer (Nilgiris division) told TOI, “Field observations suggest that there is an increase in the population of Indian gaur in the Nilgiris.

 

There are also conflicts due to elephants and sloth bears in the district. Basically, the conflicts are more with gaurs.”

 

 

Pointing to the outcome of the 2017 survey of the Forest Survey of India (FSI) that the Nilgiris has lost 144 sq km of forest cover, Baddal said, “This is mainly because of encroachments in the fringe areas of forests and shrinkage of shrubs. Buffer zones between patta land parcels and forest land have vanished.”

 

 

According to him, the main reasons for gaurs to stray out of forest areas are shrinkage of forest cover and shortage of water inside the forest.

 

 

Also, the forests are located in pockets between habitats. “Moreover, exotic species such as wattle, eucalyptus and pine absorb the ground water and don’t let natural regeneration happen. These cause scarcity of fodder and water for animals.”

 

 

 

 

Source: The Times of India, 28 August 2019, Chennai.