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2019: No wolves, but simian count up by 300%
The district forest office has come out with a wildlife census in Ghaziabad. As per the census, there has been a phenomenal rise in monkey population in the past three years — from about 5,000 in 2016 to 18,000 this year. Similarly, the population of wild boars, jackals and porcupines has risen manifold. However, the survey has failed to record any sighting of predators like wolves. In 2016, there were three wolves, and officials suggest they might have migrated to forests of nearby districts.
“This was a random survey which we carry out every two years to ascertain wildlife numbers in Ghaziabad forests and other areas. This year, the survey was carried out for three days in May. We relied on actual sightings, pug marks and also reports of animal sightings from local people while preparing the wildlife census report,” Deeksha Bhandari, district forest officer (DFO), told TOI on Saturday.
Bhandari attributes the nearly 300% rise in monkey population to change in the behavioural pattern of the animals. “Monkeys are increasingly becoming comfortable with human presence in the vicinity of their habitat. Not only monkeys, the population of wild boars has increased to 2,585 this year from 681 in 2016, which could also be the result of favourable habitat,” she said. Likewise, the number of jackals have increased from 25 to 231 this year, and that of porcupines from 36 to 461.