Bhubaneswar, December 5 (LocalWire): Bhitarkanika National Park and the adjoining wetland along the Mahanadi deltaic regions have emerged as a congenial home for mammals as per the latest headcount of animals in the region.
According to the latest headcount report released by the forest department, overall 8,105 mammals of 16 species have been spotted in the park, up from 7,728 during the previous year.
“There has been an increase in the population of mammals to adequate conservation measures, including watch and vigil by the anti-poaching squad of the forest department,” Bhitarkanika Mangrove (wildlife) Forest Division divisional forest officer Bikash Ranjan Dash said.
The spotted deer, wild boars and monkeys form a sizable chunk of the mammal population.
While 3,108 spotted deer were counted, over 2,450 monkeys were found inhabiting in the national park and adjoining wetland sites, besides 1,926 wild boar species that inhabit in the park and its close periphery.
However, the population of mammals like the leopard cat, sambar, and jungle cat was reported to be negligible as per the headcount, and the dwindling population of these species is a matter of concern for the forest officials.
“The number of animals is proportionate to their habitation corridors. Factors prompting the animals making their way to crop fields and orchards in village areas could also be analysed methodically using the census figures,” a forest department official said.
The forest department conducts an annual headcount of estuarine crocodiles, winter-migrant avian species, and monsoon-migrant water birds.
The count is also made of the number of Olive Ridley turtles engaged in annual mass nesting at Gahirmatha Marine Sanctuary, which falls under the administrative jurisdiction of the national park.