by Dr Sahu
The third day of the course started with a field visit to the tiger reserve led by Dr Bilal Habib. We saw pugmarks of a leopard and a tiger along with pellets of Chital and Nilgai. Through these observations, we learnt how to do a sign survey and how to identify and interpret these signs and tracks. We also learnt the differences between fecal pellets of various ungulate species found here which helped us in understanding their behavior a little.
After breakfast, we moved to the lecture hall where we got a brief introduction about Sariska Tiger Reserve from Mr. Gokul Kanan, the field biologist here, who told us all about the history of this reserve, about how the tigers in this area went extinct in 2004 and then were reintroduced 2008. With an area of 1211.34 sq km, Sariska (which is the 11th tiger reserve) has a total of 27 tigers.
After this introduction session, rest of the lectures were taken by Dr Bilal habib who told us all about how to count animals in the wild. Various methods like the canonical estimator, line transect sampling, point transect sampling were taught to us in a manner which made it all very easy for us to understand.
Since it was getting very hot a small break and some tea to refresh ourselves was served. , Subsequently, we moved to the open area for a hands-on session on field equipment. We were showed how to use a binocular, range finder, compass and a GPS, compass being the most difficult one to understand.
In the evening, we had a small pool party where all of us got to know our course mates. We also had to showcase some of our talents which definitely made the party more fun and interesting. The day ended with dancing and then a really nice dinner that was hosted for us by WHB Team