Search This Blog

Monday, June 11, 2012

Stray tiger relocated into Dudhwa Tiger Reserve

PTI Jun 10, 2012, 11.54AM IST LAKHIMPUR KHERI: The Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) is witnessing the successful relocation of a stray tiger into the wilds again. Forest authorities had tranquilised and captured a stray tiger on April 26 last after it became a threat to human lives on the outskirts of the state capital Lucknow. Named as 'Baadshah', the stray tiger had ventured into human populated areas and created panic in a number of villages. After catching the tiger, the authorities were in a fix about the future of the stray tiger and after weighing all pros and cons, they decided to try to re-introduce it into the wilds of Dudhwa again. The authorities were wary of the tiger's behaviour in the wild as it had been exposed to human activities. Due to this, they decided to put a radio-collar round the its neck so as to maintain a close watch on its movements after its relocation. However, the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) environment appealed to the stray tiger so much that it lost all the abnormal behaviour it had shown in Rahmankhera (Lucknow), Field director, DTR Shailesh Prasad told PTI. "The stray tiger has been sighted happily settled in Sathiana range of the reserve with no abnormality in its behaviour at all," Prasad said. Ganesh Bhat, deputy director, told PTI that "Close monitoring on the movements of the stray is being kept through satellite". "The tiger seems to have fully adapted itself to the natural wild environment of Dudhwa," he said. "The successful relocation of this stray tiger would pave a new path of reintroducing the stray animals into the wild," he hoped.

Karnataka green activists save tiger corridor

TAGS: Karnataka green activists | Western Ghats | Tiger corridor | Moorkangudda Reserved Forests | Sakleshpur Taluk | Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary | Kudremukh National Park It required the intervention of a court and conservationists for Karnataka's forest department to stop the destruction of a critical tiger corridor. A private firm had been permitted to set up windmills at the spot in the Western Ghats, in violation of rules. Recently, the government withdrew the permission given to a Bangalore-based hydropower firm to install windmills to generate 25 MW power in the Moorkangudda Reserved Forests in Sakleshpur Taluk of Hassan district. Moorkangudda acts as a critical link between Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary and Kudremukh National Park and is home to endangered wildlife, including tiger, leopard, wild dog, gaur, sambar and several other species protected under the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The area has grassland, shola forests and matches Bababudangiri area in its natural beauty. Despite concerns raised by Karnataka's energy department in its order that "the area falls within forest area and that it was unlikely to get forest clearance", the forest department had permitted to start testing work for the power firm. However, in response to a public interest litigation filed by Prashant Yavagal and Western Ghats Environment Forum, the forest department withdrew the permission for extension of the testing period. "This is a positive step by the forest department to save this excellent tiger habitat. Though this area could have low densities of large carnivores, it acts as a critical corridor between southern and northern Western Ghats" wildlife biologist Sanjay Gubbi said. Last year, the forest department had proposed the inclusion of a few reserved forests in this area to the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, including Moorkangudda because of its high ecological value. "In the interest of long-term tiger conservation efforts in the state it is critically important to connect all protected areas through existing corridors or else once these corridors are lost the concept of source-sink model for tiger conservation will be obsolete," Gubbi added. Read more at:

Efforts on to retrieve stolen trapping camera at Palamu Tiger Reserve

TNN | Jun 11, 2012, 10.09AM IST DALTONGANJ: The state forest department has begun efforts to retrieve the stolen trapping camera of the Palamu Tiger Reserve. Villagers have been asked to return the cemara without any fear of legal action. An appeal has also been made to those in jungles armed with weapons (read extremists) to return the stolen camera to forest officials without any problem. A trapping camera was stolen from the Barwahee dam in Betla Range of Palamu Tiger Reserve (PTR) a couple of days back. PTR DFO Core Premjit Anan, while confirming the theft of the trapping camera from Barwahee dam a couple of days back, said efforts were on to get it back. Anand reiterated that appeals have been made to all sections of people to return it without fearing any legal/punitive action in this regard. He said PTR was more interested in its trapping camera than initiating any legal action. The official said it is believed the trapping camera was stolen more in misunderstanding and confusion as the camera is used solely for trapping carnivores and not for any other activity in the jungle at all. He said the PTR was not being soft with those who stole the trapping camera. Instead, it is to spread a message among the populace living in the vicinity of the reserve the trapping camera will do them no harm, he added. A total of 122 trapping cameras is to be installed in the PTR's core and buffer zones for the 4th phase monitoring of tigers which is to start on Monday. As per an earlier announcement, the 4{+t}{+h} phase of tiger monitoring would state on June 10. However, it had to be delayed by a day because of the positioning of trapping cameras and trackers for the job, Anand said.

Tiger strays into village

PTI | 10:06 PM,Jun 10,2012 Canning (WB), Jun 10 (PTI) A tiger strayed into Satjelia village in the Sundarbans and killed a cow this evening, forest department sources said. The tiger entered the village under Gosaba police station and killed a cow owned by Swapan Sardar. Forest department personnel reached the village but details were not yet available, the sources said. PTI COR

MP not safe anymore for man's striped friend

MONDAY, 11 JUNE 2012 00:22 PIONEER HITS: 221 Once bearing the status of a tiger State, it has now lost 454 big cats to poaching and accidents in the past decade. ZAFAR ALAM KHAN reports Once a tiger State and safe haven for big cats, Madhya Pradesh no longer remains safe for the exotic animals. In the past decade, over 100 tigers have been killed in the State at an average of 10 tiger deaths a year and poaching of the striped feline continues unabated to this day. The carcass of a full grown male tiger was found on Tuesday in the Keeldas forests of Kathotia village in Sehore district, about 40 kilometres away from the State capital. Unable to carry away the body of their kill due to its large size, the poachers cut it into two pieces and hid it in the jungles with the intent of coming back to retrieve it but, as luck would have it, before they could return the corpse was spotted by the villagers. As usual, the forest department arrived to the rescue of the real culprits and termed the death an accident. Some villagers were arrested immediately to hush up the case. Sehore District Forest Officer Vijay Nema said that it was an "unfortunate incident" and the villagers had laid a trap for some smaller animals near the water body and, by some mischance, the tiger fell in it and lost its life. It seemed a shameless lie to many ears. The department has intensified patrolling inside the jungles, Nema added. The State has lost 454 big cats during the last decade. According to the 2002 census, the number of tigers in the State was 711 and that came down to just 257 in 2011. This is not the first occasion that a tiger was found dead under mysterious conditions in the forests of Sehore. Earlier this year, a big cat was killed in Ichhawar in the same district and as usual the forest department held the villagers responsible for the killing. Wildlife activist Ajay Dube, while talking to Viva City, said, "With the killing of the full grown tiger near the State capital on Tuesday the Government's talk of security measures for the big cat stands exposed." Dube further said that tigers in the State are at threat as the morale of the poachers are so high that they do not hesitate to strike near the State capital. The lives of the tigress and her two cubs roaming in the vicinity of Bhopal almost in the same areas where this male tiger used to roam are also in danger, if the State Government does not wake up and make proper security arrangements for this tigress. State Forest Minister Sartaj Singh, however, ridiculed the fears expressed by wildlife activists. He said, "The tigress and both its cubs are safe and are under surveillance of the department round the clock. Special teams have been formed to protect the feline and her cubs." A couple of days ago, the National Tiger Conservation Authority had asked the State to step up monitoring of the tigress and other endangered animals in the wake of tiger poaching in adjoining Sehore district. A year ago, when the now dead tiger and the tigress were noticed in the forested area on the outskirts of the State capital, the NTCA issued an advisory to the State Government to strengthen the monitoring of the two adult animals. The 2011 tiger census revealed there were only 257 tigers left in the State's six tiger reserves, namely, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Panna, Bori-Satpura, Sanjay Dubri, and Pench. The situation is especially worrisome at the famous Kanha National Park which is now left with just 60 tigers. Madhya Pradesh's tiger conservation efforts were hit for the first time in 2009 when it was suddenly revealed that Panna, one of the State's premier tiger reserves, had lost its entire big cat population. The report says that there were about 20 tigers in 2006. Further doubts on the State's conservation efforts were cast by a confidential report of the Panna Tiger Reserve's field director, who claimed that forest officials were acting in collusion with poachers, thus placing a consistent threat to the revival of the tiger population in the reserve. A high was registered in 1999 when 42 tigers were killed. In 1995, poachers killed 16 tigers. A senior forest department official lamented that it was very hard to nab the kingpins of the poaching gangs. "Old methods of killing tigers using guns are outdated. The gangs now employ villagers living near the forests to kill the animals. The villagers generally poison or electrocute the tigers as it reduces their chances of being caught," the official said. Sadly, the tigers are critically endangered. Yet, there is hope. MP is one of the last places left in the world where relatively large and unfragmented wild tiger populations have the opportunity to have a sustainable and secure future. As per Wildlife Institute data, the tiger habitat in the State has shrunk by nearly 3,000 square kilometres. The Opposition is blaming the Government for the decline in the numbers. "The falling numbers of wild animals in Madhya Pradesh is a cause for concern. Our State had the highest numbers of tigers at one point. The Forest Minister and the Chief Minister are responsible for this," State Congress media department chairman Manak Agarwal said. Various social activists and wildlife experts had written to both the State and Central Governments to order a CBI inquiry into cases of tiger death in Panna Tiger Reserve but the Madhya Pradesh Government declined to order a CBI probe and instead formed a committee to investigate into the alleged disappearance and poaching of wild cats from PTR. When contacted, Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister Sartaj Singh said, "I have given my proposal (for a CBI inquiry). The decision (to form a committee) is taken by another department (Home)." As per the norms, the decision to constitute a CBI inquiry is taken by the Department of Personnel of training, a Central Government nodal agency in Delhi, on the recommendation of the State Government's Home Department. Even as the overall tiger count has gone up in the latest census, the falling numbers of the animal in the State has emerged as a big concern. Due to the steep fall in tiger numbers, Madhya Pradesh lost its 'Tiger State' tag last year.

MoEF to push for closure of units around Kaziranga

Chetan Chauhan, Hindustan Times After 16 years, the environment ministry will ask the Assam government to shut down industrial units operating within the 10-km radius of the Kaziranga National Park— a natural habitat for tigers, elephants and single-horn rhinos. In 1996, the ministry had declared the national park an eco-sensitive zone and thus it became a no-development zone for any industrial project. It was part of the ministry initiative to protect as many as 600 national parks and sanctuaries across the country. This would have meant that Assam government should have cancelled mining and stone crushing licences. But this did not happen. Hearing a petition filed by an RTI activist, the National Green Tribunal recently asked the ministry to close all units operating in the no-development zone around Kaziranga. A National Tiger Conservation Authority report in 2008 found that stone crushers were blocking a key tiger and elephant corridor. It suggested stopping of all stone crushers on forest corridors linking Kaziranga to Manas wildlife sanctuary. "Implementing the eco-sensitive zone regulations is the responsibility of state governments, not ours," a ministry official said, asking what they could do if the regulations were not implemented. "We have no powers to push state governments." The regulations, however, require that any project in an eco-sensitive zone should be cleared by the ministry. But the Assam government overlooked it and granted approval to stone-crushing units. The same had also happened in case of approval to mining firms around Sariska Tiger reserve in Rajasthan and Panna tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh, the only tiger reserves to have lost their tiger populations. "We will be writing to the Assam government soon," an official said. "...After going through the affidavit, filed by MoEF, wherein it has been clearly stated that 64 units are existing in the zone as on date, we have no hesitation to direct the authorities to take necessary action with regard to functioning of the aforesaid units," the NGT said. Only 12 tea estates can function without processing units or boilers.