The census will be held on May 18 to understand the movement and diversity of wild animals inside the national park.
Mumbai: The Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) is preparing for its annual waterhole census where several wildlife enthusiasts gather to count the animals that visit these waterholes during the night. The census will be held on May 18 to understand the movement and diversity of wild animals inside the national park.
According to the last count, around 10 leopards and 14 wild boars were recorded. According to SGNP officials, every year during Buddha Purnima (full moon) night, around 100 volunteers along with wildlife lovers spend the entire night on machans to monitor the wild animals coming to the waterholes.
Registration for the event starts in March itself, which is more like a tradition in the national park. "The volunteers are selected on lottery basis from the applications we received. They have to spend an entire day on machan and be very careful while counting the animals. It could happen that a big cat or other animal visits a particular waterhole more than once. So one needs to take that into account," said a senior SGNP official.
The volunteers monitor waterholes near Tulsi, Krishnagiri, Tungareshwar wildlife sanctuary and Yeoor forest. During the waterhole census in 2018, around 671 animals were counted from across an area of 190 square kilometres that included animals from SGNP and Tungareshwar. It was lesser than the 995 animals counted in 2017. Among the animals seen were 27 sambar deer, 97 langurs, 111 monkeys, 60 bats, 18 mongoose and 14 wild boars.