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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Govt to stop all commercial activities in core areas of forests

TNN | Feb 27, 2013, 02.34 AM IST Man dies of swine fluAnother tests +ve for swine fluFive test positive for swine flu37 new swine flu cases in DelhiCity resident among 2 swine flu casualties JAIPUR: The state government on Tuesday announced that all state-run commercial activities in the core areas of reserve forests would be discontinued. The announcement came during the question hour in the assembly when the opposition strongly protested the running of RTDC's Tiger Den and other lodges in the core area of the reserve forest. With an aggressive opposition cornering the state government over the RTDC run commercial hotels in the core area, incharge minister Parsadilal Meena assured the house: ''RTDC run hotels, if any in the core area, will be shut down.'' Prior to this, Meena, who was giving the reply on behalf of Bina Kak, had informed the house that 3281 complaints of commercial activities in the reserved forests were received and that action had been taken in 91 cases. He, however, could not give the details on the number of cases in core areas, buffer zones and eco-sensitive zones. Rathore alleged that commercial activities were on at 500 metres from core area in Ranthambore. "Is it not true that villages were located in the area and are now being considered encroachment and relocated," said Rathore, adding that if new guidelines are followed, 75% of Tonk would be covered as reserved forest. The opposition, during the question hour, accused the state government for being partial towards the urban residents because of the discrepancy in the norms for penalty on use of land without land-use conversion. The matter was raised by BJP's Ajay Singh. ''While in the urban areas the land-use for 1500 sq yards can be transferred at the rate of 200 sq yards; the penalty charged in rural areas in the on-going Prashasan Gaon ke Sang is four times that,'' said Ajay Singh.

59 tigers poached in 2012: Government

Published: Tuesday, Feb 26, 2013, 21:50 IST Place: New Delhi | Agency: PTI The country lost 197 tigers in the past three years with 2012 recording the highest number of 88 deaths, including 59 due to poaching, the Rajya Sabha was informed. In a written reply, Environment and Forest Minister Jayanthi Natarajan provided the figures related to tigers poached and deaths of big cats due to natural and other causes since 2010. Last year, 59 cases of tiger poaching were registered by various state governments, while 29 big cats died due to natural and other causes. The highest number of 10 poaching incidents last year were recorded in both Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka. With 16 incidents of poaching, 2011 saw a total of 56 tiger deaths. In 2010, 53 such incidents were recorded, including 28 incidents of poaching. Informing the House about the steps taken by her ministry for tiger conservation, Natarajan said, "At present, India has the maximum number of tigers and its source areas among the 13 tiger range countries in the world, owing to its long history of conserving the species through Project Tiger." She said out of 39 tiger reserves in the country, 15 were rated as very good, 12 as good and eight as satisfactory. Four reserves were rated as poor according to the Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Tiger Reserves in 2011.

Nagarhole loses 4th tiger in less than 2 months

DC | Amit S. Upadhye | 15 min 9 sec ago A tiger that was poisoned to death outside Nagarhole forests on February 17. The culprits are yet to be arrested. —DC Bengaluru: The decomposed body of a male tiger with its claws missing was found inside the Nagarhole Tiger Reserve (NTR) on Monday evening. The tiger may have died a week ago. The body was discovered by a patrolling team who were working on forest protection measures. The carcass was found in the Veeranahosahalli Range of NTR which has the highest concentration of tigers in the reserve. Forest officials say there is no sign of foul play, even though two tigers from Nagarhole were poisoned to death in separate incidents since January 13. They even claim that the missing tiger claws are not the handiwork of poachers but were eaten by wild boar and other animals that fed on the carcass. The wildlife conservationists in the State are seriously concerned and are demanding a thorough probe into the suspicious death of tigers in the last two months. “The tiger carcass was discovered around 4 pm in the forest and the autopsy was conducted before 6 pm. Why there was so much hurry in burning the dead tiger? The foresters could not even take the blood samples, claiming that there was nothing left in the decomposed body. Just because the carcass of the tiger was found in the interior of the forest does not mean that foul play cannot be suspected,” said a conservationist from Mysore district. The officials of the Forest Department, Government of Karnataka, has officially stated that the death of the tiger is a clear case of natural death. “An autopsy was conducted on the deceased tiger in the presence of veterinarians, senior forest officials, environmentalists and members of the Special Tiger Protection Force. The tiger was aged around 10-12 years and might have died in a fight with another tiger. The back of the tiger has scratch marks indicating that the tiger was involved in a territorial fight,” said a top official of Nagarhole Tiger Reserve.