2-day meet on tiger reserves
The heads of tiger reserves in the country are holding a two-day meet in Kaziranga on January 17 and 18 for the first time to discuss the state of the reserves and the road ahead
.“The meeting is being held for the first time in the Northeast and we are proud to host it,” Kaziranga National Park director Surajit Dutta said.
The reserve is estimated to have 106 tigers and has been classified in the “very good” category by the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
“This will give a good opportunity for tiger reserve heads to see with their own eyes the success in tiger conservation at Kaziranga,” Dutta said.
Kaziranga will also host a two-day regional training programme for tiger monitoring for the fourth phase on January 16 and 17.
In the fourth phase, teams shall be equipped with a GPS unit and a digital camera besides the regular equipment like firearms, wireless and torch. The date, time and GPS coordinates of the team will be recorded.
They will have to enter records of any illegal activity that they come across along with photographs in the datasheet along with time, date and coordinate stamp.
A management effectiveness evaluation report by the National Tiger Conservation Authority on Kaziranga said it has one of the best protection strategies, which includes 152 anti-poaching camps, a number of roads and a well-connected communication system.
The report admitted that the threat from poaching have always been there and do happen even with the very vigilant and efficient protection measures.
“On the whole, there is a concerted effort to contain the threat. It is prepared to meet emergencies arising out of flash floods, the core area is free from human habitation and the wildlife staff trained better at the senior level,” it said.
On the interaction of the management with the visitors, the report said it was limited. “There is no feedback mechanism, which could be introduced. The visitors are generally satisfied, particularly because of the elephant ride and sighting of rhinos and sometimes other animals,” it added.
The estimated total population of tigers in Assam is 143 with the lower limit being 113 and the upper limit being 173. In 2006, the population was 70.
“The recent census of tiger and the earlier ones also indicate a good population, ” the report said.
The two-day meet will give an opportunity to other tiger reserves in Assam and the Northeast to share their success stories and strategies to overcome problems.
Manas, which has just been removed from the danger list, would be telling on its strategy on tiger conservation. Dampa has no human settlements inside the core area. Pakke has excellent protection mechanism and is free from human habitation.
However, Namdapha has inadequate staff and 84 families are staying in the core area and there is no eco-development.