Wildlife census in Pune division shows increase in number of sambar deer, chinkara, antelope

A rise in the number of sambar deers, chinkaras, antelopes and wolves has been reported from Pune division over the past year, according to the wildlife census by the forest department.

The Pune division of the state forest department conducted an annual wildlife waterhole census between May 18 and 19 in four wildlife sanctuaries – Nanaj, Bhimashankar, Rehekuri and Mayureshwar – which fall under the Pune division. In the survey, it was found that there has been an increase in the count of animals like sambar deer, chinkara, antelope and wolf, said officials.

RK Wankhede, conservator of forests (wildlife) of the Pune division, stated that as compared to the census conducted in the last two years, a sharp rise has been observed in the sightings of some of the animals such as sambar deer, chinkara, antelope and wolf, among others. “This year, one leopard was sighted at Bhimashankar range. Along with this, we have spotted mouse deers (4) and Pangolin, which are rare,” said the forest official.

According to the census, the number of sambar deers increased from 29 in 2018 to 31 in 2019. Along with that the chinkara number increased from 399 to 417. The census report also shows that antelope figures increased drastically from 858 to 1,071.

However, the sighting of Bengal fox reduced from 39 to 38. The Pune division of the Maharashtra forest department registered 2,497 different types of wildlife species during this year’s census.

The wildlife census work began at 12 noon on May 18 and lasted until 12 noon of May 19. The teams include forest staffers, volunteers and animal lovers.The volunteers consist of members of environmental NGOs, wildlife lovers, and students. According to forest officers, these teams were located at 175 waterholes in the division. As and when the animal is sighted by these teams at waterholes during the census duration, they are counted and later compiled for the survey.

First Published:
May 22, 2019 15:35 IST

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