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Friday, September 23, 2011

Additional Cats Increase Tiger Numbers at Nagarjunasagar Tiger Reserve

Every time the camera caught a different beautiful pale yellow body painted with long black stripes, they added to the numbers statistically. New camera traps installed in the forest of Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve in Andhra Pradesh have recently captured on film a number of new adult males as well as many new tiger cubs tagging along with their mothers. Forest officials estimate that the Tiger Reserve has about 70 adults and 20 cubs living in the reserve. Of the photographs taken, 20% are of tiger cubs roaming along with their mothers. The Nagarjunasagar Tiger Reserve spread over 3658 sq kms is the largest Tiger Reserve in India located in the Nallamalai hill ranges and catchment areas of the Krishna River. Recently new camera traps with motion and infrared sensor were installed in the dense forest of the reserve. The new technology has revealed delightful news for the big cats and their lovers. “This is the first time the animals have been photographed, giving us an idea of each individual, number of animals, and in which areas the tigers are moving.” K Naik, the head of Project Tiger at Hyderabad and a former field director of the Nagarjuna Sagar reserve said. With the increase in the tiger population, forest officials have taken a number of steps to counteract any danger against them. To prevent the tigers and leopards from straying into human settlements in search of food, the forest department has released 70 deers in the forest, which will serve as prey to the big cats. The big cats often stray in human settlements due to territorial infighting with their clan or in search of food. However forest officials have taken care to prevent any human-animal conflict by paying immediate compensation in case of cattle killed by a tiger or leopard. As such they have successfully prevented cases of poaching and other criminal activities against the animal. The last poaching case in Nagarjunasagar Tiger Reserve was registered in October 2001. The reserve forest consists of 24 villages which are home to 1500 families, mostly Chenchu tribals. Bu they do not pose any danger for the Chenchu tribals are known to co-exist with the natural system, their needs being simple and primitive. Recently a female with two cubs was snapped close to a road open for traffic on the sanctuary’s periphery, and a male was seen near a village. However both incidents were cleverly manipulated back to harmony, before any untoward incident could arise, thus saving both human and animal lives. Cameras have also caught many tigers towards the Gundla Brameshwara Wildlife Sanctuary which has become an extension of the Tiger Reserve. Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve has been renamed as Rajiv Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary in 1992 and is a part of Project Tiger. Forest management programmes which have included the village tribals have helped to maintain the forest cover to a large extent. The villagers dependency on wood for fuel is now being fed with alternatives such biogas plants and solar lamps to a small extent. However the major source of danger to the bio diversity of the reserve are the armed extremist, which make it difficult for forest guards to venture in some areas as well as smugglers who smuggle large amounts of timber from the forest. The aforesaid dangers have been present since many years. However it is the persistence and optimistic vision of the reserve’s forest officials and guards that has succeeded in improving the tiger numbers, a fullsome positive result.

Tadoba moots white-topping of roads inside park Mazhar Ali, TNN

Chandrapur: Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) authorities have decided to go for green technology for strengthening the damaged pucca roads in the tiger abode. Park management has forwarded a proposal for white topping, a non-polluting technology, of the pucca roads inside the reserve, to avoid the tar abiding with the norms of NTCA. While TATR is all set for reopening of full fledged tourist services from next month. The park has been partially closed since July 15 and tourist movement was restricted to great extent. While only limited number of tourist vehicles was allowed to move only on the pucca roads, all the interior kuccha roads were closed for safari. The park will reopen fully for public on October 1. The degradation of tar road is a cause of concern. There is a 19-km stretch of tar road between Moharli and Tadoba range. In addition to this there are some small stretches which lead to kuccha roads. "There are over 20 km long tar roads inside the reserve. These roads need repair. But as per the guidelines of NTCA burning of tar inside the park for repair or construction work of pucca roads is prohibited. So, we have decided to go for green technology," said CCF and field director, TATR, Vinaykumar Sinha. Park management has opted for white-topping technology of the tar roads. "It is a concrete overlay, a novel technology which promises to fill all potholes. We have forwarded a proposal to the higher-ups for white-topping and have called experts for spot inspection," said Sinha. He informed that they have plans to rope in support of some big industries through corporate social responsibility (CSR) for the project. He said that there are plans to construct toilets and urinals through green technology inside the park. "There are some pockets in the park where there is least water available for utilization. At such places the toilets and urinals which do not need any water could come handy," Sinha opined.