Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhanjanagar, Mar 2:
The Ganjam district, famous for the endangered blackbuck, has come up with overwhelming numbers as its population has doubled over the last count of the antelopes in the Bhanjanagar south division of Odisha’s southern district.
The conservation efforts of the officials has paid off with the number of the endangered species reaching 3303 as against 1533 during 2011 census in Aska, Buguda, and Polsara forest range under Bhanjanagar south division, an increase of 1770 blackbucks.
The Bhanjanagar south division houses as many as 830 male, 2018 female and 455 young ones, a forest official revealed.
As per the census, Buguda forest range has 395 male, 1009 female and 235 young ones and Polsara range has 113 male, 282 female and 61 young. Similarly, in the Aska range, 322 male, 727 female and 159 young antelopes are there taking the total figure to 1208.
Notably, 66 teams consisting of four members each were despatched where 25 teams were formed in Aska forest range, 26 in Buguda, eight in Polsara and seven in Ghumshar division.
While these forest ranges showed remarkable increase in blackbuck population, the enumeration data from Ghumshar south division was awaited as census is underway in this area.
During the blackbuck census, as many as 300 people including District forest officer, Ghumshar south division, Ranjit Kumar Mallick, Assistant Conservator of Forests Santosh Kumar Mohapatra and volunteers participated in the drive.
Prior to this, a training programme for the employees and the volunteers at Bhetnai Charimile Square camp was held on Feb 28, sources said.
It may be mentioned that the Indian Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is listed under Schedule-I species of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and designated as vulnerable. Besides, it is also found in the Puri-Balukhanda Sanctuary.