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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Poachers took four limbs, two canines of Jharan tiger

TNN | Jan 25, 2012, 03.25AM IST CHANDRAPUR: Now it is official that the dead tiger found in Jharan range of FDCM North Chandrapur on Monday evening was poached by electrocution. Postmortem of the carcass and the circumstantial evidences gathered from the spot on Tuesday have confirmed that tiger had died due to electrocution. While poachers hacked and took away all four limbs and two canine of the beast, they left behind the metal wire used for electrocution. Not much was left of the tiger's carcass as it turned out that beast was killed more than five days back. "It was adult male tiger aged around 6 years. A black injury mark, caused due to contact with electric wire, was found near the neck. Only four nails were recovered near the carcass," said veterinary doctor PD Kadukar, who conducted the postmortem. Earlier FDCM officers had planned to take the carcass to Chandrapur but owing to its deteriorating condition, they finally decided to carry out autopsy at the same spot on Tuesday morn Following the recovery of carcass an extensive search was carried out in compartment No. 122 of Jharan range. The search had revealed several signs which substantiate that the place was a haven for local poachers. Foresters recovered over 300 metre long metal wire from the jungle which was used for electrocution of the tiger. Small ropes were found tied to the lower parts of the trees standing across the forest tracks to hold the electric wire which is laid low just above the ground, so that any wild animal walking along the track comes in the contact with the live wire. Internal sources in forest department claimed that, both 11 KV and 66 KV electric line passes over the place where the carcass was found. "Poachers might have used the 11 KV line for electrocuting the animal, as use of 66 KV line would have destroyed the wire as well as the carcass by its high voltage current," forest officers said. The trip record of the electric supply line summoned form the MSEDCL, too have helped in confirming the time of poaching. As per records, the Aksapur electricity feeder, that regulates the electricity supply in all the villages around had tripped at 3am of January 19, the probable time when the tiger was electrocuted, sources claimedForest officers are confident that it is the work of local poachers who were after a herbivore, but accidentally tiger was killed by the live wire. "The way tiger's claws were hacked, suggests that it was the work of non-professional poachers. They went on to axe the right jaw of the tiger to remove the right upper and lower canine tooth. But, they left four nails behind, failed to remove left upper and lower canine and even did not bother to go after the skin," sources said. Entire circumstantial evidences put together, it is apparent that poachers belong to some nearby villages and were actively poaching the herbivores in the area with electric wire since last few months. Meanwhile, senior forest officers including FDCM MD SK Sood, APCCF Anmol Kumar, regional manager FDCM Sanjay Thakre, CCF Chandrapur circle BSK Reddy, divisional manager, FDCM MA Ghoshal along with PCCF's representative Bandu Dhotre and NTCA's representative Poonam Dhanwatey were present during the postmortem of the tiger. Veterinary doctor Kadukar has removed the available viscera to forward it to forensic lab. The carcass was later burnt at the same spot before the witnesses.

Canal will hurt top reserve’s tigers

Jan 25, 2012 - Rashme Sehgal | Age Correspondent | New Delhi The Rajasthan state government’s determination to construct a canal which will slice through the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR) is going to take a heavy toll on the tiger population of this high-profile sanctuary. The canal will severe the crucial corridor that links RTR to the Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. The problem is made more complex because the state government had sought permission for this canal construction from the standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife (NBW). The NBW turned down the proposal twice. Prerna Bindra, a member of the standing committee of the NBW pointed out, “The channel will sever and finish the corridor between RNP and the Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary. If this linkage is broken, the tigers have a doubtful future. The corridor needs to be protected at all cost.” Ms Bindra added, “Sawai Mansingh Sanctuary has finally after a long period, seen signs of breeding tigers. According to reports, the presence of six adult tigers and four cubs have been recorded in this sanctuary.” The foundation stone for the canal was laid by Namo Narain Meena, Lok Sabha MP from Sawai Madhopur, in April 2011. When National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) member P.K. Sen visited the RTR, he found a large number of trees had been cut in order to build this canal. Rajasthan’s former chief wildlife warden R.N. Mehrotra (retired a fortnight ago) explained, “The reason why the canal was being constructed was because major siltation had taken place in the Mansarovar Lake located in RTR. Extra water was required in order to remove the silt.” But water experts point out that an attempt to connect the Kushalipura nalla to the Mansarovar Lake will hardly provide a solution to the siltation problem. The state forest department has now suggested to the ministry of environment and forests that they should go in for underground pipes that can pump water to the lake and are awaiting a green signal from them.

Census records rise in vulture count in Panna

MAHIM PRATAP SINGH The Hindu The Longbilled vulture. Photo: Special Arrangement The results of the vulture census in the Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR) will definitely provide wildlife enthusiasts with a reason to cheer. The count in the third annual estimation exercise that concluded on Monday has registered an increase of 39 per cent over the last year's figures. While the maximum vulture population this year stood at 1797 (as against 1340 in 2011), the minimum number was 1054 (814 last year) while the average count recorded was 1510 (1079 last year). Vultures were found in 38 of the 39 sites earmarked for counting, as against 21 of 25 sites last year. The PTR is home to seven vulture species — long-billed, white-backed, Egyptian, red-headed, Eurasian griffon, Himalayan griffon and cinereous. The first four are permanent residents of the park while the last three are migratory. A significant decline was seen in the numbers of the long-billed (502 from 775) and the cinereous vulture (1 from 6) but that could be because of lack of technical expertise on the part of the enumerators, explained park officials. 97 birds not identified “Because of the difficulty in distinguishing between the long-billed vulture and the Himalayan griffon vulture, 97 birds could only be identified as “unknown” by the observers due to lack of technical expertise,” PTR Field Director R.S. Murthy told The Hindu. Based on a public-private partnership model, the enumeration exercise is being carried at PTR for the last three years. This time, 110 participants from 9 States and two Union Territories, including two foreign citizens, had registered for the exercise. Finally 65 people actually participated in the event. While the PTR is evidently a great vulture habitat with ample feeding opportunities for the avian scavengers, some areas of concern have emerged recently. “The use of the banned diclofenac for cattle around the Patori village and the cutting of the Arjun tree, which serves as a good nesting site for the white-backed vulture, are two areas of concerns we have identified as threats to vultures. Efforts are needed to stop such activities,” Mr. Murthy said.