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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Tiger’s pug marks, first kill spotted near Lucknow, experts on alert

Express News Service Posted: Jan 10, 2012 at 0332 hrs IST Lucknow Not more than 25 km from Lucknow city, a tiger is reportedly lurking in the woods of Rehman Khera’s Central Institute of Subtropical Horticulture. The first kill of the predator was also examined by tiger experts in the farm land of the institute on Monday. However, the experts believe the terrain which the tiger is inhabiting has good availability of water and wild prey as well as proper shelter, and so there is no immediate danger of the beast straying near human habitats. “There is no need to worry as the tiger is in an area which is well surrounded by the industry’s boundary. Moreover, it is best to leave the beast undisturbed so that it goes back to its original habitat,” said Ashok Kumar, vice-chairman of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), New Delhi. However, WTI member has been asked to visit the area on Tuesday and keep a watch. He said tranquilising of the animal will be undertaken only if the need arises. Believed to have strayed from the southern Kheri jungles, the tiger is expected to have been roaming the area for at least a week. A team of experts from Tiger Terrain — a local NGO working in the area in collaboration with WTI — visited the area on Monday. While initial rumours were that of a tigress and a cub spotted in the area, the pug marks proved it to be a mature male tiger of around three-and-a half to four years. No marks of cub were spotted. The body of a blue bull, weighing around 150 kg, was spotted by the team near the aonla plantation of the institute on Monday, indicating the big cat is a proficient and strong hunter. “The tiger’s pugs are 14x14 cm and its stride is of 82 cm, meaning it is a well grown strong tiger,” said Rahul Shukla, a tiger expert and vice chairman of the Tiger Terrain. The CISH farm, spread around 300 acres, has huge mango and aonla plantations and areas of uncleared forest patches. The farm is surrounded on the western side by thick forests. However, Shukla maintained the Forest department has been informed about the tiger’s presence and requested it for assistance. “We have asked for arranging elephants for tracking the tiger as the terrain where it is present cannot be covered on vehicles,” he said. Since the predator needs to be confined in the region and prevented from straying in areas of human habitation, the team has also asked the department to tie buffalo carts in the area as a bait. Since no human killing has been reported till now, the tiger, once nabbed, will be sent back to the jungle. Meanwhile, CISH has warned its workers not to visit the area alone, even during the day time, said H Ravishakar, the director of the institute.

Bengal tiger population in Assam increased

Guwahati, January 9: Assam forest and environment minister Rockybul Hussain on Monday announced that the Royal Bengal tiger population in Assam has increased to 143 in 2011. The last tiger census in wildlife protected areas was completed in December last. “We used camera trapping method in tiger census in the state. The method is internationally recognized. In Kaziranga National Park KNP), we have 118 Royal Bengal tigers. It has the highest density of royal Bengal tiger in the country”, said Hussain. In the KNP, there were two incidents of Royal Bengal tigers coming out to the fringe and killed villagers separate incidents in November last year. “According to the experts, tigers come out from its habitat for two reasons. When its population increases, the new generation pushed out the older ones and the other reason has been due to the shortage of food. There is no shortage of food for tiger in Kaziranga. This indicates increase of Royal Bengal tigers in Kaziranga”, said Hussain. The state forest minister said that population of Royal Bengal tiger in Rajiv Gandhi Orang National Park has also been increased in the last six years. Apart from Kaziranga and Orang National Park, the Nameri National Park and Manas National Park in the state also has witnessed the increase in the population Royal Bengal tigers. The Project Tiger was launched in three wildlife protected areas of Kaziranga, Manas and Nameri in the state. The state forest minister added that elephant population in the state was also increased from ‘5246’ in 2002 to ‘5620’ in 2011. According to last river dolphin census in the state, there are 258 river dolphins in the state.

Bangalore: 800 Tribal Families Living in Forest Tiger Reserves to be Shifted

From Our Special Correspondent Daijiworld Media Network - Bangalore Bangalore, Jan 9: Given the hard reality of increase in man-animal conflicts, the Karnataka Government has decided to rehabilitate 800 tribal families residing in tiger reserves and other forest areas of the State by granting compensation of Rs. 10 lakh to each family. Karnataka’s Forest Minister C P Yogeshwar and Social Welfare Minister A Narayanaswamy, who held a meeting with R Dhruvanarayana, MP, legislators from Mysore, Chamarajanagar and Hassan districts, officials of two departments and tribal leaders in Bangalore on Monday, chalked up plans for resettlement of families trapped in tiger reserves and national parks in the State. Leaders representing tribal families inside tiger reserves and parks have expressed their willingness to relocate from the conflict zone, leaving the land to the wild animals, the ministers were told at the meeting. However, despite a blame game between two ministers on resettlement of families, the Social Welfare Minister said 142 families have been rehabilitated by providing compensation of Rs. 10 lakh cash, three acres of land and Rs. 5,000 for obtaining LPG connections to each family. In anticipation of the Central grants, the Forest and Social Welfare departments would commence relocation of remaining 800 tribal families residing in forests in different districts. Already a proposal seeking funds has been submitted to the Centre, Narayanaswamy said. Several tribal families have been residing in Bandipur, Nagarahole, B R Hills, Bhadra, Kudremukh Nation Park areas. A large number of elephant deaths have been reported in these areas following retaliatory attacks by the people, officials maintained. Yogeshwar said steps would be taken for building elephants proof trenches, boundary walls and solar power fencing for preventing animals straying to villages. However, unlike the Social Welfare Department, the Forest Department’s budget was limited to Rs. 250 crore a year. The Social Welfare Department, a nodal agency for welfare of tribal families, hast to take initiative to rehabilitate tribal families, he said. Narayanaswmay said Revenue and Forest Department have identified 4500 acres in different districts for rehabilitation of tribal families. Now both departments have to conduct a joint survey for allotment of lands to families. The Social Welfare Minister also directed officials of departments concerned to take steps to distribute ration cards and provide electricity connections to households residing in peripheral areas of forests and rehabilitated families.

Killer tiger resurfaces in Kodagu

TNN | Jan 10, 2012, 01.56AM IST MADIKERI: The tiger, which attacked and injured three buffaloes on Friday, killed a cow on Saturday night at Netkundh near Birunani in South Kodagu. Chottangada Rohith found the half-eaten carcass of his cow near its shed. People in South Kodagu are fearful because the tiger, which claimed several livestock in October and November last year, has resurfaced. A forest department team had kept cages to capture it. These men were relieved when the tiger's pugmark was seen about 500 metres from the Kallalla forest touching Nagarahole on Nov. 9. No incidents were reported after that in Kanoor, Shrimangala, T Shettigeri and Hudikeri villages. The trouble spot is on the Birunani Kodagu - Kerala border. Shrinivas Naik, the Shrimangala wildlife range forest officer, told TOI a leopard may have attacked the cattle. The incidents happened at Birunani near Brahmagiri wildlife forest range and the animal probably arrived from this forest he said, adding, "We are trying our best to chase the animal back to the forest by bursting crackers in the bushes and trees," Naik said. The animal can be identified only after veterinarians survey these area, he added. KA Manu of Birunani villager and Kanoor villager S.P.Mahadevappa told TOI villagers are afraid to move about freely on work and students are tense on their way to school and back. After class, students reach home by about 7pm and they tremble with fear on their way back. Virajpet taluk in-charge deputy conservator of forests Anand said cages would be kept in certain points to capture the animal. He said forest guards in groups will try and capture the tiger.