Search This Blog

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Orissa Similipal staff plan a foolproof count

BARIPADA: Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR), India’s second largest tiger reserve, is preparing for the national tiger count in November. This national park is in the news for its dwindling number of tigers and frequent elephant deaths. �Sources said the tiger reserve officials are planning to use both camera trap and pugmark methods to count the big cats. On earlier occasions, only pugmark method was used and it varied largely from the camera trap counting. Using pugmark method, the authorities had counted 101 tigers in STR in 2004. In 2009, the number came down to 61, including 16 males, 31 females and 14 cubs. But the report of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Wildlife Institution of India (WII) indicated that STR has an estimated 23 (12-34) tigers as per 2010 census, which was conducted by camera trapping methods. �Regional Conservator of Forests (RCF) Anup Nayak said NTCA this time was planning to count the big cats through both the methods. “It will be finalised after a meeting followed by a training of officials for the counting,” he said. �Sources said NTCA will prepare a protocol to be followed by all tiger reserves and it may rope in some NGOs besides the Wildlife Institute of India (WII). This time, the officials want a fool-proof count which shouldn’t be confusing like previous years. �Field trials have already begun __ the staff are getting good pictures from cameras put up at nine places. “We had fixed six cameras at Upper Barhakamuda, two at Jenabil and one at National Park. All have several pictures of tigers,” said a forest official. He said the WII last time also had used 10� cameras on a trial basis. �Besides tigers, the STR is home to about 432 wild elephants. The national park, with a total area of 2,750 sq km, is a treasure house of 1,076 species of plants belonging to 102 families.

Tigers stage comeback in Jalgaon after a long gap Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN

NAGPUR: It should sound a good news for wildlife lovers. Tigers have staged a comeback in Jalgaon district in Dhule territorial circle after a long gap. However, Khandesh Nature Conservation Society (KNCS), working for tiger conservation in Jalgaon forest division, claims tigers were very much there but there was no serious monitoring by the department. Wadoda range forest officer (RFO) DR Patil has been monitoring a tigress with a cub for the past three months. Patil also claims presence of a male tiger in his range. The tigers have made densely forested Purna backwaters their home. "This is after 2001 that tigers have staged a comeback in Jalgaon division. In 2001, there was tigress with three cubs," Patil said. It seems tigers move from Melghat-Ambabarwa-Yawal-Western Ghats. However, Abhay Ujagare and Vinod Patil of KNCS say presence of tigers is there in Jalgaon district since 1993 but due to lack of serious monitoring their existence could not be ascertained. However, if official tiger figures are to be considered, there were 7 tigers in Yawal Wildlife Sanctuary in Jalgaon, followed by 3 in 1993, 4 in 1997 and 1 in 2001. Since then no tigers were recorded in the protected area (PA). Besides, the last official record of tigers in Jalgaon division was in 2005 when three tigers were recorded. "In past few years the newly added Wan and Ambabarwa to Melghat tiger reserve has improved protection and management. Several evidences of breeding tigresses have been recorded in camera traps from this cluster," said Kishor Rithe, member of National Board for Wild Life (NBWL). Rithe said there were unconfirmed tiger sighting reports in the past two years by villagers and local nature lovers in Jalgaon district. Presence of tigers shows that they are dispersing towards west in Jalgaon district. The forest range Kurha (Wadoda) includes Kurha, Charthana and Dolarkheda rounds. The area of three beats North Dolarkheda (2,100 ha), South Dolarkheda (1,500 ha) and Sukali (1,450 ha) of Dolarkheda round in Kurha range is the most potential area for tigers having 10 perennial waterholes. Rithe's Satpuda Foundation has urged the state government to provide necessary wildlife management inputs to this area. If you peep into history, tigers and lions used to live together in Gujarat. Tigers disappeared from Gujarat in the 1980s whereas lions could manage to survive. The last tiger seen in Gujarat is reported from Dang district bordering Maharashtra. Satpuda mountain is spread up to Dang district where it meets Western Ghats and Aravali mountain. The tiger habitat continuity link is considered from Kanha-Pench (Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh)-Satpuda-Melghat and Yawal. Local bird watcher Anil Mahajan from Varangaon (Jalgaon) had recorded a dead cub last year. This is a proof that tigers are breeding in Jalgaon district and earlier claims made by KNCS were also true. Conservationists were dreaming in last 20 years that tigers would again disperse towards west to Melghat. The state expert committee to declare critical tiger habitats (CTH) ex-PCCF B Majumdar, ex-APCCF Nandkishore and Kishor Rithe had recommended a compact cluster of Wan, Ambabarwa and Narnala sanctuaries adjoining Melghat to be included in MTR, which was accepted by the state and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).