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Monday, February 20, 2012

Tigress dies in road accident, cub in shock

TNN | Feb 20, 2012, 02.23AM IST CHANDRAPUR/NAGPUR: A tigress was found dead and its sub-adult cub has been traced close by on the premises of Lohara teak research centre, 3km from Chandrapur, on Sunday. This is the second tiger death in a month in the district. On January 23, a full-grown tiger was electrocuted in Zaran in FDCM area near Chandrapur. The tigress seems to have died after being hit by an unidentified vehicle while crossing the road. Experts say the spot seems to be a favourite crossing as a tigress had met the same fate in February 2006. Senior officials confirmed presence of a cub nearby, who is unable to stand on its legs after the accident. "The cub, suspected to be sub-adult, is in a state of shock. We are closely monitoring movement of the cub and have installed camera traps. A bait has also been tied near the cub. A search of the area has revealed that there is only one cub," they said. However, experts suspect that there might be another cub which must have moved ahead. On Sunday, patrolling staff of the teak centre noticed carcass of the tigress in compartment no. 397 close to the Chandrapur-Mul road. It took more than five hours for the senior officers of Chandrapur circle to reach the spot after the carcass was noticed. A visit to the spot revealed that the carcass was fresh and blood was oozing out from the nose and the right hind limb was slashed. The 8-year-old beast may have died early in the morning. "All the body parts of the tigress are intact and hence possibility of poaching is ruled out," officials said. The big cat was 2.40 metres in length and 94cm in height. Sources claimed that the tigress had its location in the teak research nursery and forest around. The tigress had a 20-cm-long gash in the right hind limb. A deep cut ripped the skin revealing bone close to the claw. "The animal's joint at the place of fresh injury has also been dislocated. There is also a 4-cm-long injury on the right forelimb which appears a bit old. The tigress might have died due to excessive internal bleeding," officials said, quoting veterinary doctors. They ruled out the possibility of electrocution as no burn marks were found on the body. Veterinary doctors who performed autopsy later deduced the internal haemorrhage as a cause of death. Deputy conservator of forests (DyCF) P Kalyankumar informed that the tigress might have been hit by some vehicle while crossing the road. The carcass was burned in the presence of forest officials and NGOs in the evening. Nitin Desai, Central India director of Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI), said, "It's a big loss as a tigress delivers at least 16 cubs during her life circle. It is high time vehicular traffic is regulated on Chandrapur-Mul road."

Woman mauled by tiger in Ranthambore

TNN Feb 18, 2012, 03.10AM IST woman|Ranthambore Tiger Reserve|mauled|death JAIPUR: Morpali Meena, a 50-year-old woman, was mauled to death by a tiger at Bera Ki Qui between the Darrah and Berro areas of the Ranthambore tiger reserve on Thursday. Morpali, mother of a nature guide of the park Jagdish Meena, was missing since Thursday evening but it was only after the recovery of her body on Friday morning that her death was confirmed by forest officials. Meena had gone to collect firewood from the area in the afternoon but when she did not return home till late evening her family members began searching for her. "Late in the evening, we had come across some clothes belonging to her but there was no trace of her body. Officials of the department tried to scan the area but due to darkness the search proved futile," a forest department official said. The search was resumed in the morning and the woman's body was traced atop a hillock in the Bera Ki Qui area. The hill lies on the periphery of the reserve and is home to a tiger of the park. The body of Morpali Meena bore bite marks on the left thigh and waist. A post-mortem was conducted on the body that confirmed that she died due to animal bite. Later her body was handed over to her family along with a compensation sum of Rs 2 lakh. "But we cannot confirm if she was attacked and killed by a tiger as the hill where the body was traced is rocky and therefore had no pug marks. She could have been killed by any wild animal, including a tiger or a panther," said A Choubey, chief wildlife warden, Rajasthan. Sources though revealed that tiger pugmarks were traced to the bottom of the hill. The last that Ranthambore witnessed a death due to tiger attack was on August 17, 2010 when a 22-year-old youth was mauled to death at Indala Dang area.

DFO & forest guards at loggerheads

TNN | Feb 20, 2012, 07.24AM IST DALTONGANJ: Divisional forest officer (DFO-buffer) Anil Mishra and Jharkhand Van Shramik Union president Sidh Nath Jha are at loggerheads. About 157 contractual workers, daily wage-earners of the Palamu Tiger Reserve are on a dharna for past nine days. The officer and the union are at loggerheads on the issue of removal of three daily wage workers from the reserve. The workers removed are Sidh Nath Jha, Green Ram and Mukut Stephen Tirkey. Mishra said, "I had removed four daily wagers. But intriguingly these union people are making noises about only three." Mishra could not recollect the name of the fourth one removed by him. "Jha is the state president of the Jharkhand Van Shramik Union. He does not work at all. Jha's plea is that he is the head of the union so he be exempted from doing work as a daily wager," said the DFO adding that should a contractual worker (daily wage earner) be paid government money in terms of wages if the person concerned has not done any work at all?. The DFO reiterated this union president would not be paid wages at all for the period he has not done work. Jha's non performing days are being counted and now he stands removed from the tiger reserve. Jha concedes his removal is unjust. He said, "We want all removed to be taken in the PTR." When asked as to why he does not work like other daily wagers Jha said, "Being the state president of Van Shramik Union there is hardly any time left for doing but my presence in PTR helps other daily wagers to work more sincerely." On the reason for removing the other two daily workers the DFO said that Green Ram and Mukut Stephen Tirkey have been removed for selling precious woods/trees of PTR to local carpenters in villages situated in and around the PTR. However Jha defended them saying, "The daily wagers are a victim of conspiracy of either forest guards or rangers as when ever these daily wagers point fingers towards corruption in PTR the forest guards and rangers start waging war against daily wagers."

Tiger cub found dead in Nagarahole

Bangalore, February 17 2012, DHNS: A year old male tiger cub was found dead in Antara Sante Range of Nagarahole National Park on Friday. The carcass of the cub was found near Hoskere anti-poaching camp in Antar Sante Range. According to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden B K Singh the cub died of natural causes.“There appears to be no foul play, because all body parts are intact,” he said. Tiger, leopard pelts seized Tiger and leopard pelts worth Rs 15 lakh were seized at Koppa in Chikmagalur district by Forest department officers along with some of the City-based wildlife enthusiasts. Acting on a tip by an autorickshaw driver from Koppa, the forest officers raided and arrested a person who possessed a tiger cub pelt worth Rs 10 lakh and the pelt of a young leopard worth Rs five lakh. 14 persons have been arrested in this connection. According to Sunil Duggar of Akhila Bharatha Prani Daya Sangha, the tiger was poached from Chikmagalur forests in November and the leopard was killed through electrocution in January, 2012. The arrest was an outcome of a four-day long operation.

Tiger scares away voters on outskirts

TNN | Feb 20, 2012, 12.47AM IST The beast, which has been in the area for over a month, scared away voters in the Rahmankhera locality and only 35% people from a cluster of six villages in the area turned up to cast their votes. RAHMANKHERA: Apart from winning the voters' confidence, candidates in Malihabad constituency had an unusual odd to overcome - menace of a wandering tiger. The beast, which has been in the area for over a month, scared away voters in the Rahmankhera locality and only 35% people from a cluster of six villages in the area turned up to cast their votes on Sunday. The overall polling in Malihabad was 58%. "We did get a call from the 'party' to come and vote without fear. Otherwise also, candidates had been telling us to act brave," said a villager Kalluram. The political assurances, however, did not pay off. "We were told that the low turnout was because of the tiger," said a poll officer at the Dugauli booth. "Even those who turned up, came in groups to vote," Kalluram adds. Ulrapur, in Rahmankhera, has nothing distinctive about it. It's broken, kuchcha roads, rather, make it a perfect case of state's apathy and neglect. But, on the polling day, the village assumed importance. More than 20 security guards were deployed by forest department at the village to infuse a sense of security in villagers, scared of the stray tiger. But, result was not encouraging. "I came with others. And, more than half of the voters, have not come," said Pyarelal of Ulrapur villager. "We are going to vote in groups," said his friend Siyaram. Rahmankhera has several of its villages reeling under the tiger scare. The worst affected are Dugauli, Ulrapur and Meethenagar. All these villages are situated between forest area. Dugauli and Ulrapur together have 658 registered voters. The tiger is located around the campus of Central Institute of Subtropical Horticultre (CISH) campus. A narrow road from the main Malihabad road, takes one inside the premise. While Dugauli lies on one side of this narrow road, Ulrapur lies on the other side. "The stretch that connects two villages, has dense forest on both sides," said Arjun Lal Yadav. However, presiding officer, Lalit Sharma, who, too, was aware of the roaming tiger, ruled out any such impact. "People are coming out in good numbers," said the officer. The forest officers, including senior officers, were present on the spot manning security at sensitive villages. "We know our responsibilities, and we are doing our best. There is no scare at all, and voters are moving," said a senior officer. Canvassing in the area had already been badly hit in the area due to the big cat. "When we come back from work in the evening, we give call up at our place first. It's only after four five people come and stand at road with lathis, that we enter the village," said Sanjay, resident of Ulrapur, about the tiger scare in the area. "So far, it hasn't attacked anybody. But who knows," said Nayandevi. Since villagers are dependent for most of their basic needs on the forest, from fodder to fuel, tiger presence in the area is affecting them hard. The tiger was first spotted on January 8 and has not been trapped despite best effort fro forest officials.

'India must make wildlife cadre to protect tigers'

Last Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2012, 12:39 0 Tags: India, wildlife cadre, tigers protection Bangkok: India should step up efforts to revamp its forest service and create a separate wildlife cadre for tigers which can work in partnership with other agencies to protect the animal, a top conservationist has said. Valmik Thapar, an Indian conservationist, is of the view that when the British left India they also left behind the Indian Forest Service, whose primary duty was cutting of forests and use of forests. "That scenario has changed now, it is not only about protecting the forest but also protecting its wildlife," he said adding that wildlife protection was a very tiny part of the service and not sufficient and called for a wildlife cadre. "If India wants more landscape for tigers, a separate cadre has to be carved," he said on the sidelines of a Tiger protection conference here. "The time has come for change, new partnerships without that tigers won't be alive," he said. The Tiger conference organised by the UN office of Drugs and Crime saw police and customs heads and Tiger conservationists from 13 Asian countries agreeing to tighten controls and improve cross border cooperation to curb the illegal smuggling of tigers and other critically endangered species. "We must take immediate and urgent action to save these magnificent animals from extinction," Kunio Mikuriya, Secretary General of the World Customs Organisation said. Thapar said poaching was linked to a government. "Poaching accelerates, when there is a bad and weak government as poachers exploit these gaps," he said, adding that bad governance and bad political leadership also led to the endangerment of animal species. He felt that India's forest department did not like change. "We need to rethink otherwise we have no hope," he lamented. Meanwhile, the Global Tiger Initiative of the World Bank said India faced major challenges in sustaining the integrity and inviolability of core tiger habitats and corridors (mounting pressures from roads, mining and extraction industries) It said that one billion US dollars were needed to relocate villages out of the core areas. Another challenge was in maintaining tiger occupancy in habitats outside tiger reserves and noted there was a 20 percent in tiger occupancy observed habitats outside designated tiger reserves. A third challenge according to the Tiger Initiative was managing human-wildlife relationships noting there had been increased tiger-human conflict in some landscapes. However the Global Initiative also noted that India had made some major achievements. These included addition of 2,500 km of new tiger habitat by establishing two new Tiger Reserves bringing a total of 54,656 Km2 under 41 Tiger reserves. This represented a five per cent increase in tiger habitat under protection, it said adding that five more tiger reserves were under establishment and another six were proposed. It said across the country, tiger and prey estimations had recorded a modest increase in tiger numbers and that wildlife corridors connecting critical tiger breeding areas had been identified and published. "If we lose an emblematic species like the Tiger, mankind will be acknowledging that it is prepared to lose any animal on the planet. This must not be allowed to happen," Yury Fedotov, Executive Director of the UNODC told the conference adding that "by our actions we must show that we have the capacity, the ability and the commitment to protect other species living on this planet." PTI