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Centre sends teams to assess situation in 8 tiger reserves 




THE HINDU
PTI, 13th August, 2009

New Delhi (PTI): In an attempt to avoid repeat of Panna and Sariska-like situations where the big cats were wiped out, the Centre has send three teams to assess the scenario in eight "critical" tiger reserves and take adequate steps to save the carnivores

The move comes after it was felt that tigers in sanctuaries like Dampa tiger reserve(Mizoram), Buxa (West Bengal), Namdapha( Arunanchal Pradesh), Valmiki( Bihar), Palamau (Jharkhand) and Manas in Assam would become extinct if adequate and timely interventions were not initiated to save the last species.

Indiravati in Chattisgarh and Nagarjunasagar Srisailam tiger parks in Andhra Pradesh have also been identified for the study purpose by the teams comprising experts from NGOs.

"The teams will review the protection efforts initiated by the state governments vis-a-vis advisories issued by us," a senior official from National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) told PTI.

NTCA, an autonomous body under the Environment Ministry, oversees Project Tiger in the country and doles out Central assistance to over 37 tiger reserves across the country.

The team members will also identify administrative or ecological problems besides managerial problems in the identified areas and will submit reports within two months on the basis of which further corrective measures would be taken.

Besides, the teams would give suggestion for restoring the area and eliciting local support to strengthen the park area.

In these identified parks, tigers have either vanished or are on the brink of vanishing as each one of them is facing a different set of problems. Some parks are facing threats from Naxalites like in Indravati and some others from poachers.

In some reserves like in Valmiki park state authorities are yet to appoint a conservator, the official said and referred to Sariska and Panna reserves where the government remained in denial mode even long after they lost all the big cats.

Hence, its time to re-evaluate the existing strategies and explore alternative conservation measures in these identified sanctuaries to boost the tiger number which is around 1,400 at present in the country, he noted.


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