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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sathyamangalam Forest declared Tiger Reserve

S. RAMESH Sathyamangalam Forest in Erode district has been declared a Tiger Reserve. It is the fourth such reserve in Tamil Nadu. The three other tiger reserves are at Mudumalai in the Nilgiris district, Anamalai in Coimbatore districtand Kalakad-Mundanthurai in Tirunelveli district. The Forest Department has received the Government Order declaring Sathyamangalam Forests as a tiger reserve, and the Union government has also notified it, Conservator of Forests, Erode circle, A. Venkatesh told The Hindu over the phone on Monday. The government has earmarked 1.40 lakh hectares for the exclusive protection zone for the big cats. Of the total area, the core zone comprises over 90,000 hectares. 25 tigers “Sathyamangalam is home to at least 25 tigers, which has been confirmed by various studies conducted by our department and the World Wildlife Fund. The population is healthy and growing,” Mr. Venkatesh said. The presence of a good number of tigers in the region was confirmed during the recent wildlife census, as well. Enumerators found marks left by tigers in many areas in this region. The scat study conducted by the department also indicated the presence of 18 to 25 tigers in the region. “The creation of a tiger reserve will lead to total habitat improvement and improve the flora and fauna in the entire region. The wildlife managers will be able to ensure greater protection to the big cats. The purpose of the initiative is to protect, propagate and improve wildlife and its environment,” Mr. Venkatesh said. The region has a unique environment where elephants, tigers, black bucks, hyenas and vultures co-exist. The elephant population in the region is estimated to be around 1,200. The region also witnesses a healthy growth in the vulture population, forest officials here said. Meanwhile, Mr. Venkatesh said, the Forest Department would not evict people living inside the tiger reserve. “There will be no forceful eviction. The livelihood of the forest dwellers will not be disturbed due to the creation of exclusive zone for tigers,” he said.

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ByVijay Pinjarkar, TNN | Mar 20, 2013, 01.14 AM IST Melghat tiger reserve to get special forceAging foresters to be withdrawn from tiger forceMadhya Pradesh shifts 94 villages from notified National Parks and sa...Villagers take up patrolling along Pench bordersMaiden workshop in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.

Palamu Tiger Reserve has two cages for stray animals

TNN | Mar 20, 2013, 06.01 AM IST DALTONGANJ: The Palamu Tiger Reserve (PTR) now has two cages ready to keep animals which had strayed. Sources from the PTR said one cage is reserved for big animals like leopards while the other will easily manage to house wildlife the size of hyena. Sources from the reserve also said these cages were not maintained earlier. A leopard had entered a tribal widow's house in Palamu's Chainpur block a month ago. That is when the cage was repaired so that the leopard could be safely kept there before setting it free at night. The smaller cage, too, had an inmate recently when an injured hyena was rescued from the same Chainpur block. It was sent to Birsa Biological Park, Ranchi for treatment. In another incident, a bear had also strayed inside Garu block but was attacked by the villagers about two and a half months ago. Even though it was rescued by the PTR officials, it succumbed to its injuries. None of the reserve officials have any knowledge of the status of the cages. These cages are attached to wheels so that they can be taken to the forests from the sight of rescue.