GUWAHATI, March 1 - Primate Research Centre NE India (PRCNE), Guwahati, and Wildlife Trust of India, Kokrajhar Wildlife Division organised a week-long extensive survey on golden langur population census in Chakrashilla Wildlife Sanctuary and adjacent reserved forests of Haltugaon and Parbotjhora Forest Division (Kokrajhar district) in its southern distribution range in India from February 22.
Chakrashilla Wildlife Sanctuary is the only sanctuary in India to protect the golden langur � an endangered primate species exclusively found in western Assam and in Bhutan.
The last census was conducted in 2008, where 501 individual golden langurs in 63 troops were recorded from the sanctuary. Before conducting the actual census, a formal workshop was conducted on February 16 at Saraikhola Forest IB, Chakrashilla WLS on golden langur census technique where Dr Jihosuo Biswas of PRCNE; RN Boro, DFO, Kokrajhar WL Division; and Dr Nabajit Das, Assistant Professor, BH College, Howley briefed the participants on various techniques of golden langur census.
The workshop was attended by all the Range Officers of golden langur habitat area, enumeration team, and 60 forest personnel. The actual survey started on February 22. The survey was carried out in the entire southern distribution range of the golden langur in Kokrajhar district covering Chakrashilla WLS, Katrigacha RF, Nadangiri RF, Nayekgaon PRF, Abhaya Rubber Garden and
Dr Jihosuo Biswas of Primate Research Centre NE India, led the census operation along with his team members. Eight enumerators from Primate Research Centre NE India and Green Heart Nature�s Club participated in the census along with 40 forest staff of Kokrajhar Wildlife Division, Haltugaon Forest Division.
�The modified Line Transacts Method in conjunction with Block Count Mmethod was applied during the survey. The transacts were laid in an stratified random manner in the existing forest trails and five observers in a group followed each transacts approximately 4.5-km-long on foot in each census days,� Dr Biswas said.
Altogether eight groups comprising one enumerator from PRCNE and four forest staff in each group were surveyed. Each team was provided with one GPS, one wireless set, one binocular, data sheets and other field accessories.
In the first day of the census, the team recorded 128 individuals of the golden langur in 12 troops from Chakrashilla WLS and observing the trend, it is expected that the population may increase compared to previous census.