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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Tadoba, Pench tiger conservation plans to be rewritten

ByVijay Pinjarkar, TNN | Mar 20, 2013, 01.14 AM IST Melghat tiger reserve to get special forceAging foresters to be withdrawn from tiger forceMadhya Pradesh shifts 94 villages from notified National Parks and sa...Villagers take up patrolling along Pench bordersMaiden workshop in Pench for wildlife wardens NAGPUR: The tiger conservation plans (TCPs) of Tadoba-Andhari and Pench tiger reserves in Vidarbha will have to be modified significantly with conservation witnessing a sea change in the last three years leading to statutory policy changes. TCPs are mandatory after the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 was amended in 2006. A separate chapter has been added to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which inter alia, enables provisions under Section 38V for preparing a TCP for proper management of tiger reserves, which includes staff development and deployment plan. Of the four tiger reserves in Maharashtra, TCPs for Pench and TATR were prepared in 2009. The government approved the TCPs for both the reserves and sent them to the NTCA. However, even as the plans were discussed in a series of meetings, they need to be changed. Talking to TOI, SWH Naqvi, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife), Maharashtra, said since 2009, there have been several management and procedural changes. Naqvi said buffer zones of both Tadoba and Pench have been notified. In case of Tadoba, managerial changes have been effected with buffer and core being looked after by two separate officials reporting to field director of TATR. In case of Pench, Mansinghdeo wildlife sanctuary has been notified in 2010 in the buffer zone. Besides, the NTCA has come out with a new ecotourism policy which needs to be approved and incorporated in the TCPs. While TCP of Tadoba was returned around 7 months back, a meeting to discuss Pench TCP was held in Delhi on March 12. "All these changes are permanent in nature and will have to be altered in the TCP by the field directors," said Naqvi. Fortunately, these changes have been incorporated in the TCPs for Melghat and Sahyadri tiger reserves as these plans were forwarded to the government two months ago. On TCP's significance, Naqvi informed the basic objective is to ensure protection of reserves and providing site specific habitat inputs for a viable population of tigers, co-predators and prey animals without distorting the natural prey-predator ecological cycle in the habitat. He added, once approved by the NTCA, the TCP will also aim at ecologically compatible land uses in the tiger reserves and areas linking it to another for addressing the livelihood concerns of locals, so as to provide dispersal habitats and corridors for spill over population of wild animals from the designated core areas. The TCP will also ensure that forestry operations of regular forest divisions and those adjoining tiger reserves are not incompatible with the needs of tiger conservation.

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