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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Tiger cub separates from mother in Corbett

TUESDAY, 29 NOVEMBER 2011 00:23 RAJENDRA S MARKUNA | HALDWANI HITS: 102 A tiger cub, which was separated from its mother a few days ago in the Dhikala zone of the Corbett Tiger Reserve, now has to fight it out alone. Foresters have been closely monitoring the movements of the tiger cub. Corbett officials initially believed that the cub had not separated from the mother. But since it was not certain, movement of the general public and tourists was restricted in the area where the tiger cub was found. Wildlife experts are of the view that wild animals desert their cubs at certain age of their lives to enable them to learn to survive in tougher wild environs. Some others have stated that the mother and the cub are living together in the area. It seems the cub is still with its mother in Dhikala zone of the Corbett Tiger Reserve, though it is a bit weak, said Anil Balooni, vice president, State forest and environment advisory committee, while talking to The Pioneer. The officials are keeping an eye on the tiger cub's movements and efforts are being made to ensure food arrangements for the cub in one of the most visited zone of the Corbett Tiger Reserve. When contacted UC Tiwari, park warden, Corbett Tiger Reserve, told The Pioneer that it seems the tiger cub is not separated from its mother and is still with her. But nothing is clear yet. "Whatever may be the case, we have been closely monitoring the movements of the tiger cub. Efforts are on to feed the tiger cub." Since it is a very sensitive matter and it is not clear whether the tiger cub is separated or still under the mother's care, more external intervention can't be employed to rescue the tiger cub, maintained the wildlife experts. We can't lift the tiger cub at this juncture as it is not certain that the tiger cub is totally separated, informed Tiwari. In the meantime to ensure minimum human intervention in this hitherto highly reserved wildlife sanctuary, the CTR administration has restricted the movements of the tourists /visitors in the Sambhar Road of the Dhikala zone . The restrictions would continue for some time the park warden said. The famous Dhikala zone of the CTR has been opened to public from November 15. Since then hundreds of tourists from different parts of the country and abroad have visited this tourist spot. It was the tourists who informed the foresters about the movements of the aforesaid tiger cub on the Sambhar road alone.

Setting up of Tiger Project

Under the ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger, an amount of Rs. 288.73 lakhs has been provided to the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (Maharashtra) during the 11th Plan period, for voluntary relocation of people living in the notified core / critical tiger habitat of the said reserve. This information was given by the Minister of State for Environment and Forests (independent charge) Shrimati Jayanthi Natarajan in a written reply to a question by . Shri Hansraj G. Ahir in Lok Sabha today.

Tiger poaching in Panna a cause of concern

SATURDAY, 26 NOVEMBER 2011 00:39 PIONEER HITS: 467 Though as many as 19 tigers were killed by poachers in Panna Tiger Reserve since 1989 the authorities have failed to trace the poachers. This has been stated in a report by the Panna Tiger Reserve intelligence cell submitted to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, reports Ritesh Mishra As many as 19 tigers have died in the Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) since 1989, but the authorities are yet to trace the poachers that are probably from Satna in Madhya Pradesh and bordering Uttar Pradesh. Besides, many forest officials starting from Forest Guard to Field Director are also under scanner for tiger poaching. This has been stated in a highly-confidential report submitted by the Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) intelligence cell to Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) about the poaching history in and around Panna Tiger Reserve-'Decimation of Panna Tigers'-- on January 28, 2011. The report has further recommended a high-level probe to investigate the role and omissions of PTR Establishment in decline of tigers in Panna. Surprisingly, till now no such probe has been ordered by the department, which reflects the apathy of the Forest Department towards the dwindling numbers of the tigers. The report claims that to crack up the forward linkages from scene of crime may not be possible for the establishment of present Field Director, PTR. Moreover, such an action will invite lot of criticism and allegations from the alleged officers of omission and commission of that time. Hence, it was strongly recommended that a Rs Panna Tiger Reserve High Powered Special Investigation Team' (PTR HPSIT) be constituted by an order of Government of Madhya Pradesh immediately to investigate the Rs Poaching Issues and Nexus between the PTR Establishment and the Poachers, and Omissions and Commissions of Forest Officers as a Cause of Decimation of Tigers. Besides, the poaching history records in and around PTR indicates that the periods between 2002-2007 were turbulent for the tigers and other animals of PTR where the establishment of PTR at least at the range/sub-divisional level of Chandranagar Range and Madla sub-division tried to suppress the cases, even ignoring to resister the cases. The undersigned strongly feels that this angle be investigated thoroughly to ensure the future survival and sustenance of tigers and Tiger Reintroduction Project at PTR. The report further states that the SIT should be constituted with officers of highest integrity and professional ethics. Draft composition of the committee proposed for this HPSIT is enclosed for your perusal. The PTR Intelligence had done this report with an unbiased and dispassionate approach with a single motto of securing the success of Tiger Reintroduction Project and ensuring its perpetual dynamic presence in the landscape. "We cannot offer to lose the remaining tigers from any of the forested landscapes. If possible as a department we should allow this God's creation to disperse and survive in the adjoining areas. I would like to categorically and reiterate that this report does not have personal bias against anybody. All the inferences are based on either material or documentary evidence. Every care was taken to be factual but if there is any deviation the under signed owns full responsibility for such a lapse," wrote Field Director of PTR in a letter attached to the report. History of poaching Behalias /Pardhis were part (and active) of this landscape even from 1989 onwards. They were poaching big carnivores mainly inside the park obviously because of higher densities. It is also clear that the the staff were either lenient or mixed up with this crime nexus. High and mighty feudalistic structure of this landscape successfully coerced to overlook their misdeeds with respect to poaching. On the other hand, Bhusor and Patkoha circles of Chandranagar range have been highly vulnerable to poaching from 1989 onwards. All the six (or five) cases of poaching of 2005 took place in this area. Five out of these six cases took place inside the PTR. Unfortunately, PTR establishment from FG to SDO are party to the omissions and commissions of the crime scene. In spite of the sustained proactive efforts of PTRIC from the last quarter of 2009 seven (each) poaching cases occurred in 2010 and 11 respectively in and around PTR. It is pertinent to point out that seven poaching cases of 2011 happened in just one month. These numbers pertain to known poaching cases including wild animal deaths due to accidents and natural mortality in and around PTR (inclusive of herbivores) between mid 2009 and early 2011 (see Table III). If we take number of unearthed cases into account the figures may touch three digits per year. Methods of Poaching People of this area poach the animals with almost all available methods including shooting with the gun (symbolising feudalistic mighty of the region), poisoning, with the help of dogs, nooses and naked electric wires (by the farming communities in and around PTR) and metal traps (usually by the traditional hunting communities). These methods are really eating into and depleting the herbivore capital of PTR. Present Geharighat and Kishangargh ranges of PNP are example of this situation. The herbivore population is very low in these areas. The metal trap method is employed by the commercial poaching network starting from nomadic traditional poaching communities (scene of crime) to Sansarchand (New Delhi) which has taken care of big cat poaching. Thus, all the methods of poaching has resulted in reduction of prey density and elimination of Panna tigers in the recent part. This is not to deny the fact that sub-adult tigers and some adult tigers should have wandered out of the park before they were able to fight for the prime territories inside PNP and in search of females (whose numbers were nil from mid 2006 onwards) respectively. The analysis clearly focuses one point that the area is infested with heavy poaching. With staff omissions and commissions the crime nexus is complete from the Scene of Crime (PTR) to Sansarchand (New Delhi) including nomadic traditional poaching communities, local tribes and influential people, middle-level traders (Mohammed Rise and Nawab Khan) and Sansarchands. Unless MPFD takes cognisance of this factual truth and puts in place an effective corrective measures without losing time, reintroduced tigers and their progeny are not in safe heaven. The security threats that decimated original Panna tigers will become active and succeeds even for once with respect to tiger poaching the positive efforts till now that resulted in successful reintroduction will get nullified in no time. It is clear from the report that this is a clear cut case of fence eating the crop syndrome and genuine locals loosing heart for PTR. Recommendations made by the report Creation of secure environment to the reintroduced tigers in and around PTR in perpetuity by confirming the final identification of the culprits of the PTR establishment and the actual criminals including traders by constituting PTR High Power Special InvestigationTeam to unfold the full big picture of Panna Debacle and pinning them down . Taking the locals into confidence without whose sacrifice no PA can boast of its existence. For bigger cause of tiger and biodiversity conservation, it is the Hinautians (people of Hinauta village) and Pannaites who loose very many small day-to-day benefits from the forests to connecting their land with railhead for overall development of the landscape. For this, we have to create a corpus fund for development of the local villages and this should be done invariably through PTR establishment so that small to big grudges against park gets rectified to some extent. RTI activist Ajay Dubey's version “I am continuously raising the questions in this regard. Why the department has not ordered a probe in this whole issue even after recommendations from the field. If nothing is done soon, I will make it a public issue. Tiger is related to Goddess Durga and therefore everyone should come forward to protect the feline. About 40 tigers have been killed so far in Panna Region”