Machans and Manpower: Pune’s Unique Approach to Wildlife Census

Machans and Manpower: Pune's Unique Approach to Wildlife Census

Machans and Manpower: Pune's Unique Approach to Wildlife Census

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The Forest Department’s meticulous efforts garnered massive response in the conservation drive.

24 May 2024

By Payoshi Bisht

A wildlife census programme was held across various sanctuaries in Pune on the auspicious full-moon day of Buddha Purnima and saw an impressive turnout of over 55 dedicated volunteers. Orchestrated by the forest department, the census spanned over 86 locations, including various sanctuaries such as Bhimashankar, Mayureshwar Supe, Tamhini Ghat and expansive grassland areas like Saswad and Solapur.

A distinctive feature of this year’s census was the utilisation of “machans,” raised platforms atop trees, enabling volunteers to observe wildlife from vantage points. Beginning at 3 pm and extending till 10 am the following day, volunteers were stationed near water bodies and watering holes to monitor and document animal movements as they quenched their thirst in the tranquil ambiance of nature.

Tushar Chavan, Deputy Conservator of Forests (wildlife) at the Pune Forest Department, outlined the methodology, emphasising the importance of the meticulous approach in assessing wildlife activity across diverse habitats. Among the 86 designated waterbodies, 22 were natural sources, while 64 were man-made reservoirs, ensuring a comprehensive assessment.

Speaking about the event, he explained, “We provided all participants with necessary basic training prior to the commencement of the wildlife census program. We ensured that all facilities required for the participating nature lovers were duly provided. Over 900 nature enthusiasts enthusiastically articipated in the animal census, covering a total of 40 water bodies across various sanctuaries. During the census, a diverse range of wildlife species including Chinkara, taras, jackal, wild boar, wolf, rabbit, wild cat and fox were observed and documented. I extend my heartfelt congratulations and gratitude to all the nature lovers for successfully completing the Buddha Purnima nature experience program, strictly adhering to all the prescribed rules in a well-planned manner.”

He added, “The response from wildlife enthusiasts to participate in the animal census program at Supe Mayureshwar Sanctuary, Rehkuri Kalveet Sanctuary and Maldhok Sanctuary under Pune Wildlife Division has been overwhelming.”