Forest officials propose elephant census in Siliguri

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Silliguri, July 11 (ANI): Forest officials in West Bengal have proposed to carry out a survey to map the dwindling numbers of elephants in Siliguri.

The census would cover the entire region from Mechi to Sankoch, former Indo-Nepal border, and later include the West Bengal-Assam border.

No formal dates have been announced so far, but the census is expected to take place in September.

"Basically, what we are thinking is that the census can be done by two methods. One is statistical method, where we will find the dung decay rate, and find out the probable number of elephants which can be here, and the other method is the direct sighting method. So these are the two methods," said Tapas Das, Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) of Darjeeling district.

The census is expected to take around three to four months to complete.

"The last census says that there are 400 plus elephants here and I think this year after census, we will find out the exact number," Das added.

Preliminary survey and training will be given to the personnel involved in conducting the census.

The elephant census was last conducted on 2007, and forest department is expecting a rise in the figures this time. (ANI)

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