Air corridors to link tiger reserves
Anindo Dey, TNN 25 July 2009, 05:43am IST
JAIPUR: Tiger reserves across the country may soon be linked with one another, either through ground or air corridors. The field directors' conference that begins at Sariska on Saturday is likely to consider this amongst a host of other proposals for the conservation of tiger in the country.
The two-day conference is also being held to mark the first anniversary of the relocation of tigers from the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve to Sariska. Last year in June-July, three tigers were airlifted from Ranthambore and brought to Sariska with the hope of redeveloping the tiger populace there.
Besides a host of dignitaries, Union minister of state (independent charge) for forest and environment, Jairam Ramesh, would be attending the conference. Other participants include field officers of almost all the tiger reserves across the country, the chief wild life wardens from about eight states, scientists of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
According to sources in the forest department, "Most tiger reserves across the country are facing problems of fragmentation. They lie separated from one another leading to various problems. Therefore, they have to be connected with each other either through forests or by frequent transfer of the cats by air."
"With the dwindling number of tigers in the country, the discussions would mainly revolve around initiatives to conserve them. The state government and the Government of India would also sign a tri-partite agreement for big cat conservation. The third party in the agreement being the field director of the tiger reserve himself," the source added.
The agreement is being seen as a sort of help for various field directors across the country in conserving tigers in their respective sanctuaries as the new law holds the director directly responsible for poaching.
While the first day of the conference would be marked by the an inaugural session that would see the Union and state minister address the gathering, the rest of the day would be devoted to reports tabled by various field directors.
"On the concluding day, the WII and NTCA would present a report on effectiveness and evaluation of tiger conservation in the country," the source added.
This would be Jairam Ramesh's first trip to Sariska after taking charge of the environment ministry. Sources revealed that the minister is also likely to expedite the relocation of two more tigers to Sariska besides discussing issues of tiger conservation.