|MP shifts 3 tiger reserve chiefs
May 21, 2009
field directors of three tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh have been
transferred by the Madhya Pradesh Government shortly after reports of
mismanagement and large-scale deaths in the reserves in The Indian
Express. MP Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced the transfer
of the field directors of Kanha, Panna and Bandhavgarh after consistent
pressure from the Centre regarding the state of the reserves.
the tiger state status is a big challenge in the present state of
conservation,” Chouhan admitted. Not only were three field directors
transferred, Chouhan also asked for the list of directors who served in
these parks in the last five years and the chief conservators of
forests. He said strict action would be taken against officials showing
laxity in conservation of tigers and other animals.
director L K Chaudhary and Bandhavgarh director Aseem Shrivastava were
transferred to the PCCF office in Bhopal while Kanha director R P Singh
was transferred to the State Forest Research Institute in Jabalpur.
investigative report filed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority
(NTCA) this month, copies of which are with The Indian Express, said
that there was “no evidence of tigers” in Mukki, an important tiger
range in Kanha. The Wildlife Institute of India had earlier reported
that there was “no evidence” of tigers in the adjoining Panna range, a
claim consistently denied by the MP Government.
repositories of the “source” population of tigers in Central India, or
the bulk of the tiger population in Central India, Panna and Kanha are
fast facing the threat of losing that status. After the complete
disappearance of tigers from Panna this year, conservationists are
worried that Kanha is going the same way. “Kanha was being mismanaged
and the tigers are slipping fast. Never have so many tigers died in
Kanha in such a short while. All focus seems to be on tourism
activities. There will be infighting of tigers only if the main
populations are disturbed or poached,” says an NTCA official.
have set up an independent committee which will probe what went wrong
in Panna. It will also probe all tiger deaths in MP,” Principal Chief
Conservator of Forests PB Gangopadhyay told The Indian Express. Earlier
this year, MP moved two tigresses to Panna, in a bid to repopulate the
It also asked the MoEF for permission to translocate a
male tiger to the reserve, a tacit admission that there were no tigers
left in Panna.