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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tiger fear stalks Kerwa, Kaliasot villagers -TNN

BHOPAL: A tiger is stalking the dark shadows on the outskirts of the state capital. Villagers residing in the area have got indications to this effect due to two recent incidents.

On August 12, a half-eaten carcass of a cow and its calf was found near the Kerwa Dam-Kaliasot area. Local residents were so terrified that they locked themselves inside their homes during Raksha Bandhan and Independence Day and returned to their normal lives only after the forest department assured that the big cat had gone back into the forests of Ratapani, 40 km away.

However, the fear returned anew when the half-eaten carcass of a buffalo was found there Thursday evening. Pug marks have been traced after both the cattle killing incidents. But the tiger remains unspotted.

"Our concern in on two fronts. First, to guard the local population and avoid any human loss and second, to protect the tiger from poachers that might kill the animal,'' explained assistant conservator of forests Suresh Bagmare. "The spot where the tiger is hunting would be approximately seven km from Kolar Road. This means that the animal is five km from the densely populated areas of Bhopal city.''

Forest guards are guiding the local population on ways to avoid a confrontation with the wild cat. Villagers of Kaliasot have been instructed to avoid the forest areas especially after the sunset hours and to go into the forests in groups if necessary during the daytime.

"Tigers generally do not deviate from their own territory and always follow a track,'' Bagmare said. "Though the tiger has been reported to visit the Kaliasot vicinity in the past two years, it has not come into the human habitations.'' According to the assistant conservator of forests, this is a male tiger which has "presumably'' strayed to Bhopal from the adjoining Ratapani sanctuary. To be sure that it is from Ratapani, the forest department needs to conduct a DNA. If it was a feline, there would be cubs with the tigress and pugmarks of the cubs would also be found. But there were no cub pug marks.

Ratapani's tiger population is close to 20. The 435 sq km wildlife sanctuary is being considered as a possible tiger reserve.

Forest dept. re-establishing tiger corridors: Natarajan

Minister of State for Environment and Forests (independent charge) Jayanthi Natarajan told Rajya Sabha on Tuesday corridors for the safe movement of tigers were being re-established.

The 2010 country level assessment says that as per the status of tigers, co-predators and prey in the country, the tiger landscapes have potential for metapopulation existence but require corridor connectivity.

Cretain areas like Srisailam (Andhra Pradesh), Similipal - Satkosia (Orissa), Ranthambhore - Kuno Palpur - Sheopur (Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh), Indravati - Northern Andhra Pradesh - Chandrapur - Nagzira - Navegaon (Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra), and Bandhavgarh - Sanjay - Guru Ghasidas - Palamau (Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand) are in greater need of such corridor.

Provision exists in the ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats’ for supporting such areas, Natarajan said.

Besides this, active management for tiger translocation is also done on a site-specific basis to repopulate suitable low tiger density habitats from other well populated reserves within a landscape, she said.

Project Tiger to get Rs 6.35 crore in 2011-12 PTI

CHENNAI: The Project Tiger in Tamil Nadu is proposed to get Rs 6.35 crore for its implementation during 2011-12.

A policy note tabled in the assembly said the project, was presenty receiving 100 per cent central assistance for non-recurring works and 50 per cent for recurring works.

According to the latest census, Tamil Nadu has 163 big cats within its territory.

The state also proposes to spend Rs 3.09 crore for implementing various schemes in Project Elephant. Of the 26,000 elephants estimated in India, Tamil Nadu had 4,015 tuskers.