Search This Blog

Friday, April 27, 2012

Tiger, panther census from May 1

T. LALITH SINGH Forest Department to take up the annual exercise for a week To generate data on the tiger and panther presence in the State, the Andhra Pradesh Forest Department would be initiating a week-long census starting May 1. Apart from enumerating the carnivore, the exercise plans to make an estimate of herbivore abundance at different sanctuaries and national parks. For the annual exercise, the department officials along with volunteers from different animal welfare groups would scout the wild using techniques such as pugmark track, walking trails and water hole. The trails left by tigers and panthers along with other wildlife would be picked up and documented. Locations to be covered include Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary of Jannaram forests in Adilabad district, Eturnagaram and Pakhal Wildlife Sanctuary of Warangal district, Kinnerasani Wildlife Sanctuary of Khammam district, Papikonda and Chintalapally apart from Sri Venkateswara Wildlife Sanctuary, Tirupati and Srisailam Tiger Reserve. According to the officials, the field work was planned to be carried out from May 1 to 7 along with about 40 to 50 volunteers. “This will be followed by required work to go through the data in the next three days and eliminate possible duplications and arrive at right figures about wildlife in these areas,” said A Sankaran, Deputy Conservator of Forests. About herbivores, the initiative would be broader and involve estimating low, medium and high abundance of their presence. “By the end of May, we will have compiled the numbers and details of the national parks and sanctuaries,” he said. The Forest Department looks at enrolling at least 40 volunteers and then deploying at least three to four volunteers for each division. The officials said that different voluntary agencies and animal welfare groups were being approached for the purpose and the volunteer force would be drawn from Bird Watchers Society, Friends of Snakes, People For Animals (PFA) and the Hyderabad Tiger Conservation Society (HYTICOS).

Tiger dies in trap, another found trapped near Tadoba

TNN | Apr 27, 2012, 01.48AM IST CHANDRAPUR: A tiger died after it was trapped in an iron jaw trap laid by professional trappers in Palasgaon range in the buffer zone of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. Another tiger is still trapped in a nearby snare, but it is alive, said foresters. The dead body of the tiger was discovered by a team of foresters on Thursday evening. One of the forest guards at the spot was also injured when his leg got trapped in a jaw trap while approaching the dead body. The foresters said that the tiger that is still trapped can be heard calling from a distance in Palasgaon range. RFO, Palasgaon Range, Rahul Sorte said that poachers had laid multiple iron jaw traps in compartment no. 559 under Vanmali beat of Palasgaon range on Wednesday night. There is presence of a tigress and a tiger in the area. Both the tigers appear to have been trapped in the jaw traps sometime in the night. One of the two tigers succumbed to its injures, while the other was still trapped when foresters reached the scene on Thursday evening. "The area is frequently patrolled by our forest guards as phase-IV tiger monitoring exercise is underway. Our guards had gone to the area to install camera traps on Wednesday, but they had returned without placing the cameras since the tigress was present in the area. The forest guard again went to the same place on Thursday at around 5pm to install the camera traps. This time he was shocked to find the dead body of a tiger in a jaw trap," said Sorte. He said that the foreleg of the deceased tiger was trapped in the jaw trap. He however did not disclose whether the dead tiger was male or female. Sorte claimed that another tiger is sitting close to the dead body and growling hard. It is likely that this tiger too is trapped in another jaw trap. However, foresters have refrained from approaching this tiger fearing an attack. Tranquillizing experts have been summoned to the spot and an alert has been issued in the district for Baheliya and Bawariya poachers, who have expertise in poaching with jaw traps. Foresters and police department have issued a lookout for traditional medicine sellers, as Baheliya poachers usually enter forest areas in this disguise. Forest guard MB Zade was injured in the evening after his leg got trapped in a jaw trap when a team of forest officers reached the spot. His leg escaped serious injury thanks to the shoes he was wearing. Forest officials expertly removed his leg from the trap, leaving the shoe in the trap.

Tiger count in AP over 100, says Forest Department

PTI | 06:04 PM,Apr 26,2012 Hyderabad, Apr 26 (PTI) The number of tigers in Andhra Pradesh could be over 100 and their habitat is expanding, facilitating the growth of the big cats, a top Forest Department official said today. "As per our count, it is more than 100. Of course, there is always this problem (difference in number) with our counting and the counting of wildlife activists," Hitesh Malhotra, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, told reporters here. The peak population of tigers in the state was 141, he said. As per the census conducted in 2010 by Wildlife Institute, 72 tigers were reported in the state, officials said, adding the figure does not include cubs. Noting that the habitat is expanding as a tigress with two cubs and a tigress with three cubs have been spotted separately, he expressed the confidence that the big cat population would grow further. The tiger census, to be undertaken by the State Forest Department in summer, will see 'camera trap' being used and also the participation of NGOs this year, Malhotra said. PTI SJR RSY