Hyderabad: National Tiger Conservation Authority’s (NTCA) Management Effective Evaluation (MEE) team inspected Amrabad and Kawal Tiger Reserves and appreciated the initiatives taken up by the State Forest Department, besides suggesting a few measures, especially setting up Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) for the two tiger reserves. NTCA conducts the MEE exercise once in four years […]
Hyderabad: National Tiger Conservation Authority’s (NTCA) Management Effective Evaluation (MEE) team inspected Amrabad and Kawal Tiger Reserves and appreciated the initiatives taken up by the State Forest Department, besides suggesting a few measures, especially setting up Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) for the two tiger reserves.
NTCA conducts the MEE exercise once in four years in all the tiger reserves in the country to evaluate the effectiveness of the management practices being adopted by the respective forest departments.
Accordingly, a three-member team headed by a Retired Principal Chief Conservator of Forests inspected Kawal Tiger Reserve (KTR) from November 6 to 9 and Amrabad Tiger Reserve (ATR) from November 10 to 13.
After completing the evaluation exercise, the MEE team, including retired IFS Dhirendra Suman and retired IFS Nitin Kakodkar held a meeting with PCCF and Chief Wildlife Warden RM Dobriyal and other officials at Aranya Bhavan here on Monday.
During the meeting, the NTCA’s MEE team appreciated habitat improvement works, including the development of water sources and grasslands in KTR. These measures would aid in migration of tigers from Maharashtra into KTR, they observed.
The team stressed that the relocation of two villages from the core area in KTR would aid in increasing the availability of inviolate areas for wild animals.
Compared to the last evaluation study, the manpower availability at field level in form of Field Level Booth officers and other security personnel have improved substantially. However, there were still a few vacancies are there which need to be filled up at the earliest.
The move to involve local communities in the maintenance and entrusting the responsibility in the protection and development of the tiger reserves was welcomed. The forest department’s measures in setting up rain harvesting pits and managing the water sources for wild animals, besides management of natural grasslands was complimented by the MEE team.
The team was impressed with the two tiger reserves steps in ensuring that the areas were clean and free of plastics by taking up day-to-day collection of litter and disposal. The two tiger reserves have deployed Biologists in the field to monitor wildlife, and mapping of water sources and grasslands.
MEE team suggestions
During the meeting, the MEE team suggested setting up of Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) for the two Tiger Reserves with 112 staff in each unit as was being done in Maharashtra.
Apart from closure of one beedi leaf unit in KTR to reduce pressure on habitat, the MEE team stressed on timely release of matching State share funds under Centrally Sponsored Schemes (CSS) to ensure a second installment facility could be availed.
It also wanted CAMPA funds to be utilised for the relocation of villages from the core area, besides also exploring funding from Tribal Welfare Department as was being done in Madhya Pradesh. It suggested according to Protected Area status to the Tiger corridor falling in Kagaznagar and Asifabad Division by notifying as Conservation Reserve / Sanctuary under WLPA, 1972.
Exploring means of increasing funds under Tiger Conservation Foundation (TCF) through eco-tourism activities and receiving financial support under Corporate Social Responsibility (CST) was suggested.
The MEE team also wanted to explore the possibility of increasing the number of base camps in the two Tiger Reserves in view of the vast areas covered by the two Reserves.
The PCCF RM Dobriyal assured the MEE team that the beedi leaf unit in KTR will be closed immediately and notifying the corridor area of KTR as conservation reserve would be given top priority.New
Similarly, the constitution of STPF for the two Tiger Reserves would be pursued with the State Government, he said, adding plans were afoot to give a boost to Eco-tourism in Tiger Reserves.