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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tiger parks itself near Patna, won’t budge

Dec 21, 2011 - Rashme Sehgal | Age Correspondent | New Delhi The last 15 days have seen the Nitish Kumar government deeply concerned about the presence of a tiger which has parked himself in a small riverine island created by the Gandak river just 20 km from the state capital of Patna. The tiger has traversed 300 km from the Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) to reach this island covered by tall grasses and with plenty of neelgai and wild pigs for prey. The matter of concern for the state government, as it is for the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), is that this majestic animal should not stray into a heavily populated village where there is a strong likelihood of the animal coming to harm. The VTR is located in the west Champaran district of Bihar and is contiguous to the Royal Chitwan park in Nepal. The Gandak river flows through the Valmiki park and tiger experts, following this tiger’s pug marks, vouch that this animal has a preference for walking along this river and has undertaken this self-driven expedition earlier also. Dr Rajesh Gopal, member secretary of the NTCA, said, “He has done this long march earlier and is presently ensconced close to Patna. Our main concern is he should not cause to any harm and should make his way back to the Valmiki Tiger Reserve.” A local DFO, a trained veterinarian who was tracking him, last week chanced to come close to the animal and got mauled. “He was trying to tranquillise him but happened to get very close to the animal who was hidden behind tall grasses,” said a forest officer who is also monitoring his movements. The NTCA has shot off a letter to the Bihar chief secretary asking him to ensure that villagers do not stray too close to where he is at present. So far, fortunately, the tiger has steered clear of nearby villages. A tiger expert from the Wildlife Trust of India and a special team of trekkers are keeping a close track of the animal. Tigers can easily walk a length of up to 40 km a day. Since the Royal Chitwan National Park in Nepal is contiguous to the VTR, tigers are known to have walked from the north right down to Barabanki.

Periyar Tiger Reserve becomes BCRLIP

Express News Service , The New Indian Express THEKKADY: As a major recognition of its conservation programme and ecological development, the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) has become a centre for the new world project Biodiversity Conservation and Rural Livelihood Improvements Project (BCRLIP) aided by International Development Association (IDA) and� Global� EnvironmentFacility (GEF). The project is worth `3 crore with a time period of five years under which three centres, Agasthyarmala in Tamil Nadu and Geer forest in Gujarat, along with Periyar Tiger Reserve, have been selected. Under the project, the PTR will be a learning centre for the BCRLIP project. The PTR has already been declared a centre of excellence.� The BCRLIP has� been initiated with an objective to impart training and developing skills for participatory conservation movement.� Under the project, training will be given to people� across the country, conservation skill development class� will be provided, cross country visits to other national parks will be undertaken and local visits for� the protection staff and NGOs will be given.� Besides, landscape approach to conservation, moving beyond wildlife sector to involve other agencies and building partnerships with private and public entities will be given emphasis,” PTR officials said. Under the project, more contract staff will be recruited to conduct research and to give training to visiting delegates. � “For the project, ecologist, sociologist, regional planner, training officer, training assistant, field assistant and accountant will be �recruited on a contract basis. � “These people along with other researchers in the Periyar Foundation will impart training to the visiting delegates from across the country,” official said. According to PTR Deputy Director Sanjayan Kumar, the DCRLIP is a recognition for the ongoing conservation programme undergoing in the PTR. “It is a major achievement for the PTR that it selected along with three other centres for the BCRLIP programme,” Kumar said. “This will impart training for the people in the conservation of the wildlife and ecology. The training to the people will be about conservation which will help the prevention of forest and wildlife,” Sanjayan Kumar added.