Wildlife Census

Tiger Census

Nature Mates-Nature Club has participated in all the tiger census since 1997. Hence, we have experienced the change in census techniques, its precisions, problems, benefits and the dynamics of Sundarban which enables us to understand the forest better. It has made us realize how difficult it is to safeguard these forests just by the forest department. Particularly tiger census helped us understand the importance of the creek survey, waders and lesser cat survey together with the importance of livelihood programs in Sundarbans. Both pugmark census technique and camera trapping associate studies require dedicated life-threatening moments for the people which enabled us to see the ruggedness of Sundarbans.

During our initial days of the tiger census we have experienced on-foot search for proper pugmarks in Sundarbans. Those experiences were an eye opener about the terrain, the effort given by the ground forest staffs and the ability of the tiger to survive in this landscape. During the prey-base census days, the on-foot work was completely stopped. This technique was totally dependent on signage findings from narrow boats. The camera trap technique again involved on-foot camera installation. Hence the transformation of census technique canes from invasive chemical techniques to almost non-invasive signage survey to camera installations.

Midwinter Waterfowl Census; 1997 to 2020

Nature Mates has participated in all the Midwinter Waterfowl Census in Sundarbans from 1997. With the flow of time we have experienced the changes in techniques and estimated the population of Migratory Birds arriving to Sundarbans in those years. This census not only provided us with ample data on birds of Sundarbans but also gave us a clear idea about the quality of soil, water even the agricultural field of the region.

Pilot Survey for Estimation of Lesser Cat Population; 2019

Nature Mates Nature Club under the supervision of West Bengal Forest Department participated in a study to find the spatial distribution of three species of Lesser Cats found in Sundarban Biosphere Reserve. A base line pilot survey was done to document the occurrence of different Lesser Cat species. This study is first of its kind in Sundarban ecosystem to develop a proper methodology to document not only the occurrence of species but also to estimate its population in the future and a future course of action with respect to scientific study and conservation of species.

Crocodile Census 2012

Population estimation of Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) in Indian part of Sundarbans:
Nature Mates participated in a census program of Estuarine Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) at Indian part of Sundarbans conducted by Wildlife Wing, Forest Directorate with the involvement of IUCN SSC Crocodile Specialist Group (CSG) members of Wildlife Institute of India, Madras Crocodile Bank Trust and Herpetology Centre in January 2012. Total 240 crocodiles were spotted during the survey with a rate of 0.12 individual per kilometer and 0.23 individual per hour. Results revealed presence of healthy breeding population of estuarine crocodiles in comparison to the other parts of the world.