|20 tigers feared poached at Tadoba in past 5 months
DNA, 19 May 2009 news source
Sudden end to man-tiger conflict in sanctuary has greens worried
are worried about the turn of things in the Tadoba Andhari Tiger
Reserve (TATR), considered the best tiger reserve in Maharashtra. The
man-tiger conflict in this Chandrapur forest area, which had grown
alarmingly in the last three years, has suddenly come to an end in the
past five months.
“The sudden end to the conflict should be
taken seriously since it is an indication that the tigers in the
conflict area are in serious trouble,” said Kishor Rithe, president of
Satpuda Foundation, an NGO working for forest conservation in central
India. It is feared that around 20 tigers have been poached_in the
recent past in the Reserve.
The man-tiger conflict in Chandrapur
district had become serious with 11 human deaths in 2006, 13 in 2007
and more than 26 in 2008. Surprisingly, only one incident of human
death — on January 21 — has been reported this year.
reasons could be cited for this: 1. The tigers have
uncharacteristically decided to stay away from humans; 2. Tigers and
humans in the conflict area have “arrived” at a consensus not to invade
in each others domain and 3. All the tigers in the conflict area have
been wiped out.
“First two possibilities are out of question
and there are more chances that all tigers in the area are wiped out,”
he said, adding, “Tigers have no future outside TATR in Chandrapur
Even the forest department officials are accepting
the fact. A senior forest official agreed that the tigers in the area
must have been poached. “We have information that an organised poaching
syndicate from Katni in Madhya Pradesh is active around Bhandara and
Gondia,” he said.
According to the official, there are around 40
tigers outside TATR and available information indicates that eight
tigers have been poached leading to either death of three cubs and
removal of two cubs from the forest, out of them one later died at
Maharajbaugh Zoo in Nagpur.
The official said that there was
an urgent need of undertaking know your tiger exercise to create a data
base. “Since poachers are far more advanced than the forest department,
we should at least have detailed information about the tigers in the
region. The poachers must have killed around 20 tigers in the region in
past five months,” the official said.