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Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Poachers on the prowl at tiger reserves: NCTA

Obalesh K H, Chamarajanagar, The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NCTA) has asked the State government to tighten the vigilance in the five tiger reserves in Karnataka. According to a letter written by Dr Rajesh Gopal, Member Secretary, NCTA, a copy of which is in possession of Deccan Herald, gangs of poachers have planned to raid 29 tiger reserves in Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Maharashtra, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. Bandipur, Nagarahole, Dandeli-Anashi, Bhadra and Biligiriranganathaswamy Temple tiger reserves in the State are on the list of the poachers. Snares laid by poachers in some protected reserves have been seized. Postmortem reports of some tigers have disclosed that they died due to poisoning, the letter says. The member secretary has directed the government to strengthen anti-poaching camps and set up new ones wherever required. The letter also asks the government to conduct combing operation in the core areas of the forests regularly, look out for snares particularly in the areas inhabited by tigers, near water sources and beef up security at vantage points. The secretary has called for synergy among district-level intelligence agencies, police and authorities of tiger reserves to check any possible intrusion by poachers. Tiger deaths According to the report published by the NCTA, a total of 56 tigers died in the country during 2011; of them, 11 were killed by poachers. Of the six tiger deaths reported from Karnataka, three died of natural causes and another three fell prey to poachers, the report says.

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