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Camera traps installed in Bhitarkanika national park to monitor the wild animals’ movement

Bhitarkanika has the highest concentration of India’s saltwater crocodiles, conservation of which was started way back in 1975.

SNS | BHUBANESWAR |

In a move to monitor the movement of wild animals and keep a tab on poachers, the Bhitarkanika National Park (BNP) authorities have undertaken the camera trap installation in the wild vegetation by putting in place 20 cameras in the first phase of the programme.

At least 20 cameras have been installed recently to gather firsthand knowledge about the both herbivorous and carnivorous species in the park.

We decided to install around 300 cameras in the park under All India Tiger Estimation (AITE) Project 2021-22.

Though Bhitarkanika is not the home of the tiger but it is the abode of fishing cats, leopard cats and other animals for which we got funds from AITE to install cameras”, said J. D Pati the divisional forest officer and the nodal officer of All India Tiger Estimation (AITE) Project, Odisha chapter.

The camera traps that capture wildlife are mostly activated by infrared sensors at night. They capture images by detecting body heat or movement of any animal.

These cameras are designed in a camouflaged way to protect them from animals and humans. The forest department has recently conducted capacity building training for the forest personnel to properly handle the cameras, DFO Pati informed.

As per the latest animal census report, Bhitarkanika, one of the finest biodiversity spot in Odisha, is the home of 3118 spotted deer, 1811 Wild Boars, 4 Sambars, 2250 Rhesus Macaques , 61 Common Languor , 366 Jackals , 44 Fishing Cat, 10 Hyena, 144 Otters, 17 Jungle Cat, 24 Mongooses, 10 fox, 2 leopard cat, 23 porcupine,13 Indian Civet Cat and 7 hare Census report relied heavily on sighting forms. After the installation of camera traps we will get correct census data on the animals.

Bhitarkanika has the highest concentration of India’s saltwater crocodiles, conservation of which was started way back in 1975. Crocodile population in Bhitarkanika is estimated to be 1768. The camera traps will help us to monitor movements of the reptiles on the land around the park, added the forest officer