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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Ranthambhore tigress relocated to Sariska

TNN | Jan 23, 2013, 03.10 AM IST Poaching fears over tiger relocation at SariskaEfforts on to revive tiger population in Sariska national parkSupreme Court lifts ban on tiger tourismCM wants impact assessment of forestsMaharashtra to take up documentation of biodiversity soon SARISKA: The interim pause in the relocation experiment for re-populating the Sariska tiger reserve with big cats was finally broken when two-year-old tigress Beena 1 was released at the reserve on Tuesday evening. Wildlife and forest officials tranquilized Beena 1 and fixed a satellite collar in Ranthambhore before it was released at Sariska. The officials are hopeful that its sibling will be tranquilized on Wednesday after which she will also be shifted to Sariska to take the total population of big cats in the reserve to nine. Tiger relocation to Sariska comes after a long gap. The last tiger, a male ST-6, was relocated to Sariska on February 23, 2011. Officials of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, managed to tranquilize the tigress at 7.23 am sharp. "We were hopeful that we will also be able to catch her sibling as the duo always stay together. But that was not to be. We waited for about three hours but as we were not able to tranquilize the other tigress we decided to proceed with the relocation of just one tigress today. On Wednesday we shall try relocation Beena 2 to Sariska," officials of the forest department said. After the tranquilization the tigress was put in a cage atop a Canter and the vehicle proceeded for Sariska. After about six hours, the vehicle finally reached the gates of the reserve in Alwar and the tigress was taken towards the special enclosure set up near Nayapani for a soft launch. No sooner was the gates of the cage opened the tigress which had then come back to its senses ran away towards a bush and hid itself. Officials say the tigress will be fed with a bait in the night. Attending the tiger release was state forest and tourism minister Bina Kak, director of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) Rajesh Gopal, scientists of the WII, including P K Mullick, D R Parag Nigam and Dr Shankar and chief wildlife warden Rajasthan A S Brar. "The two tigresses are sub-adults and were straying out of the forest. We have brought them up carefully ever since they were orphaned when they were three months' old and since we did not want any mishap with them, we decided to relocate them. After shifting its sibling probably tomorrow, we are hopeful of some more relocation and this time from outside the state. We are in talks with Madhya Pradesh and Maharastra governments for getting some big cats from there too," Kak said.

Buxa tiger census in Feb

By Pinak Priya Bhattacharya, TNN | Jan 23, 2013, 05.23 AM IST JALPAIGURI: Nearly 100 teams - each comprising five men - of the forest department will conduct a tiger census in the Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) next month. The volunteers will be trained in the first week of February and several NGOs are expected to join the exercise. According to the last census, there are 19 tigers in the BTR. "There are 48 beats in the forest that is spread over 750 sq km. Nearly 100 teams will conduct the census," said BTR field director RP Saini. The volunteers will scan pug marks, collect tiger scat and look for other evidences to arrive at the number of tigers in the reserve. In BTR, pug marks and tiger scat indicate that there has been an increase in their number in the past few years, claim forest officials. Once almost wiped out, the striped beauty has succeeded to turn around here and now regular sightings are reported in Jayanti, Rajabhatkhawa, Nimti, Sankosh and Kumargram areas of the forest. "Our workers report sightings twice or thrice in a week. Tigers are mostly seen in core areas like Jayanti and Rajabhatkhawa. But recently, they were also sighted in other areas like Sankosh and Kumargram", said a senior forest official of BTR. However, some contradict this claim as there hasn't been a single attack on cattle or any human being in the last 10 years though there are several villages in the core area. Wild-life enthusiasts believe tiger sighting in north Bengal is low due to three reasons. Firstly, tiger is a nocturnal animal. Secondly, their number is very low to be seen in a huge forest like the BTR and finally, high density of forestland also works as a hindrance for sighting. "Kaziranga has the highest number of tiger population in the country. Yet sighting is very low. This is because of the high density of the forest," said Animesh Bose of the Himalayan Nature and Adventure Foundation.

2 more held in tiger poaching case

TNN | Jan 23, 2013, 02.05 AM IST NAGPUR: Two more persons were arrested in Deolapar tiger poaching case on Tuesday. With this, the total number of arrested accused has gone up to nine. Three teams of forest officials had arrested seven persons on Saturday. On Tuesday, investigating officials ACF SB Bhalavi and Deolapar RFO AR Sheikh picked up Bhushan Revadia from Untkhana in the city and Dilip Admane of Hiwara-Khanora near Ramtek. "Both were not directly involved in poaching but were in possession of one tiger nail each. Admane was absconding after he learnt about arrest of the seven poachers," said Sheikh. Forest officials claimed 15 nails have been recovered so far besides other body parts. Sheikh said the nail was given to Revadia for free by one of the accused from Tumsar. Revadia used to go to Gaimukh near Tumsar to offer prayers where both had met and become friends. All the accused will be produced before judicial magistrate first class ( JMFC), Ramtek, on Wednesday. It is learnt that forest officials are not likely to seek extended custody of the accused.