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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Evidence of presence of tiger found in Choral forest

PTI | Feb 6, 2012, 07.14PM IST INDORE: Initial survey and evidence collected by the forest department have indicated presence of a tiger in Choral forest, spread over 10 sq km area in Barwah-Devas-Indore region, official sources today said. A ten-member team from district forest department, led by Sub-Divisional forest officer Abhay Jain, found carcasses of two bulls with bite-marks on the neck, and pugmarks of a sole tiger, in the range of Bagoda, Pitambari and Naniya, sources said here. "The team has not sighted the tiger so far, but villagers have claimed to have seen it," an official said, adding "we do not attribute credence to that unless it is sighted by the experts". A cave, suspected to be the tiger's den, was also seen,sources said. The pugmarks were estimated to be fortnight-old. The area is home to wild animals such as cheetal and neelgai. Wild Life Institute of India had earlier indicated presence of at least five to seven big cats in the Choral forest, the sources said.

Govt sees Nandhor valley as next tiger reserve!

TUESDAY, 07 FEBRUARY 2012 00:10 PIONEER NEWS SERVICE | NEW DELHI Located at the heart of Terai Arc Landscape along the Himalayan foothills, Nandhor valley in Uttarakhand has caught the attention of National Board of Wildlife (NBWL) for its potential of a good tiger habitat. The Standing Committee of the board in its last meeting favoured its declaration into a protected area at the earliest. In its recent camera trapping WWF studies found at least four tigers in the area. According to Dr AJT Johnsingh, member of the NBWL Standing Committee, Nandhor area has been found to have good tiger presence and if protected, it can become as successful as Corbett National Park. “Protection was crucial, as a particular local community inhabiting the area was known to indulge in hunting.” he added. Spanning an area of about 18,00sq. km is spread out in Haldwani, Terai east and Champawat forest divisions, with the Gola, Kilpura-Khatima-Surai and Boom-Bhramdev wildlife corridors. The vegetation of the Nandhor valley forests comprises a mosaic of dry and moist deciduous forests with traces of temperate forests towards the higher elevation areas. “This landscape still holds potential for the conservation of tigers, as it has nearly 1,000 sqkm of tiger habitat that needs better protection”, the experts pointed out. The area is also well connected with the forests in Nepal across the Sharada river on the eastern side and it continues till the eastern part of Sukhlaphanta Wildlife Reserve, they added. According to Joseph Vattakaven, Tiger-Coordinator, WWF-India, “Tigers once had a wide distribution across the Nandhor valley. They have, however, been exterminated due to various causes driven by adverse human impacts. But with protection and connectivity in place, tigers will rebound and provide us with a wonderful opportunity to increase their numbers.” Occupancy surveys and camera trapping completed in parts of Chakata and Nandhor ranges of Haldwani forest division have revealed tigers in both the ranges with multiple captures of four tiger individuals being recorded. A large male tiger along with the trapping of a tigress with her two sub-adult cubs indicates the great potential of the area as a breeding ground for tigers. Among the other significant species caught on the cameras are the Himalayan black bear amongst others which are usually found at higher altitudes. “This landscape can house a breeding population of 40-50 tigers, but poaching by local communities of prey species and occasionally tigers is potentially a major cause of absence of tigers in this area”, Joseph added.

Tigress Spotted at Kudremukh National park: Will It Be Declared a Tiger Reserve ?

By: Rang7 Team February 6, 2012 Wildlife conservationists feared the re-introduction of mining in Kudremukh National Park in Karnataka. But the recent sighting of a tiger family at the park may help put these fears at rest. One of the forest staff on his regular patrol duty spotted a tigress with her three cubs at a pond in the Pandarmakki area of the Bhagavathi forest range of the National Park. This new sighting has only further strengthened the call for ban against mining in the park area. In fact wildlife conservationist and forest officers have noted that wildlife and fauna have been regenerating and flourishing after the mining activity had been stopped in the National Park. The cat family of four including mother and three cubs were spotted on January 26. The patrol officer followed the tigress and her family for almost 20 minutes. Kudremukh means horse face and Kudremukh National Park is named after a peak in the park forest range which is shaped like a horse face. Situated in a mountainous area and comprised of a thick forest range comprising of wide variety of fauna, the park is home to many a endangered animals and rare avian species including the Malabar giant squirrel, common langur, sloth bear, lion tailed macaque, barking deer and others. Now the sighting of a tigress and her cubs has added to the list of animals that can be sighted here and this has prompted the need to notify the area as Tiger Reserve which will further add security to the area while at the same time keeping a more vigilant eye on the poachers. “The sighting of a tiger is welcome and shows that the area has great potential to carry tiger population. Two months ago, during a routine visit, we had sighted close to 50 sambar deer in one herd, which is rare even in tiger reserves of the state," said B. K. Singh, Wildlife PCCF. After the incident was reported wildlife activist are increasing their tempo to declare Kudremukh National Park as a Tiger Reserve which will help keep illegal tourism activities in check. “The reported sighting of four tigers definitely brings some cheer. The process of natural recovery is slowly kicking in and it is vitally important to ensure that Kudremukh National Park is fully insulated from the pressures of tourism and allowed to recover. The current tourism policies adopted in deciduous forests like Bandipur and Nagarahole cannot be introduced in the sensitive rain forest ecosystem of Kudremukh," said Praveen Bhargav, Trustee, Wildlife First Organisation. However local political leaders who have a vested interest in mining are against the idea of the National Park being declared or notified as a Tiger Reserve. They are fighting on the basis that notifying the area as a Tiger Reserve will lead to it being a wildlife protected area and this means evicting forest dwellers in large numbers. However according to the forest department more than 100 families have already agreed for a re-settlement programme out of Kudremeukh National Park in a voluntary eviction programme sponsored by the centre. So all the other allegations are baseless. Kudremukh National Park is divided into four ranges Kudremukh, Kerekatte, Kalasa, Shimoga. The park is situated in the Western Ghats and spread over three districts of Karnataka; Dakshin Kannada, Udupi and Chikmagalur. Kudremukh National Park has many tourist attractions including waterfalls, pilgrimage shrines and is considered a trekker’s paradise.

TATR to establish baseline water quality system

Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN | Feb 7, 2012, 02.32AM IST NAGPUR: The Tadoda-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) is fast adapting to environment-friendly water technology. After portable instant water purifiers Neeri-Zars and 'Phytorid' wastewater treatment technology, the park has decided to establish baseline water quality by collecting samples from artificial and natural water holes. VK Sinha, chief conservator of forests ( CCF) & field director of TATR, confirmed that water samples will be collected from water holes and Tadoba lake in TATR by scientists from National Environment Engineering Research Institute (NEERI). "The idea is to have descriptive water quality information in a format usable for park planning and management. It will ensure the integrity of park water quality, due to its importance in sustaining natural and park ecosystems," Sinha told TOI. The project will be implemented with the help of water technology and management division (WTMD) of NEERI. Principal scientist and head of WTMD Pawankumar Labshetwar said NEERI has already collected water samples of Tadoba lake. The samples from artificial water holes will be collected in April when they are filled. "We will establish a baseline of water quality. Although wild animals have good resistance power, we will find out whether such water can affect health of animals. No such studies have been done in the past," said Labshetwar. The TATR is surrounded by many industrial units, power plant and coal mines. Besides, there is pressure from tourists. How pollution from all these elements affect TATR water is not known. The project includes retrieve water quality and related data and develop a complete inventory of all retrieved data park-based water quality data management system, it seems. The TATR has already installed portable instant water purification system Neeri-Zars developed by NEERI at its protection huts. Besides, it is working on installing environment-friendly 'Phytorid' treatment technology system for disposal of waste water for rest houses and staff quarters. Sewage water entering the forests spoils its virginity and puts pressure on the eco-system, Sinha says. Labshetwar said NEERI has also collected water from villages inside TATR. "We are compiling report on the samples taken," he added.