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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Centre sends team to review Kaziranga floods

TNN | Jul 10, 2012, 02.29AM IST NEW DELHI: The environment and forests ministry has decided to send a team of officials from Delhi to review the situation in Kaziranga Wildlife Sanctuary in wake of flash floods that have inundated Assam. The announcement to send the member secretary of National Tiger Conservation Authority for a spot inspection and review comes a day after TOI reported on the high mortality of animals in the tiger reserve falling in the floodplains of Brahmaputra river. In a release the ministry said, "During normal floods, which are recurring feature, there is less mortality of wild animals. However, flash floods do occur due to breaches in the upper areas of Brahmaputra, which result in increased deaths of wild animals." The ministry said, "The state (Assam) has been requested to declare the adjoining Karbi Anglong Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve to enable adequate protection with Project Tiger assistance. This would be reiterated for expediting the same. The member secretary, NTCA would be visiting the reserve along with his team for spot appraisal/review, to strengthen the efforts by assisting the state." It noted that, "Being located in the Brahmaputra flood plains, the reserve is prone to annual floods. However, the normal flood inundation is inherent and important aspect of the Kaziranga ecosystem to maintain the large number of water bodies (around175) and the floral/faunal biodiversity of the area." An assessment by the Assam-based member of the National Tiger Conservation Authority M Firoz Ahmed, which TOI had reported on, said that most of the rhino deaths were from the older age group, besides calves. However, three of them have been poached. The hog deer mortality, in particular had been reported to be very high. The report had highlighted the need for relieving the corridor areas from human pressure and avoiding change in land use pattern in the area around the park.

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