Karnataka for better wildlife ties with Goa
Paul Fernandes, TNN 8 July 2009, 06:12am IST
PANAJI: In a bid to resolve matters related to wildlife crimes following the controversial killing of a tiger in Goa around February 2009—first reported by TOI on April 13—Karnataka has approached the National Tiger Conservation Authority proposing better interstate coordination.
Goa’s major wildlife sanctuaries— Mhadei, Bhagwan Mahavir, Mollem national park, Neturlim and Cotigao—form a contiguous corridor for wildlife in the Western Ghats with Karnataka’s adjoining Anshi national park and Dandeli wildlife sanctuary. Tigers from Anshi and Dandeli are known to stray into Goa.
“Anshi’s project tiger area director has suggested interstate coordination to the state (Karnataka) authorities and endorsed a copy of the proposal to us,” Rajesh Gopal, member secretary, NTCA told TOI from Delhi. “It will help sort out matters related to wildlife crime,” he added.
‘Coordination will protect tiger’
Goa’s chief conservator of forests Shashi Kumar was unaware about Karnataka’s proposal to the National Tiger Conservation Authority proposing better interstate coordination with Goa.
He, however, said that he had discussed the matter of evolving a mechanism for interstate coordination informally with his Karnataka counterparts. “As the issue of tiger killings has come up frequently, I had informal discussions with Anshi’s project tiger area director,” he said.
The alleged slaying of a tiger in Keri, in February kicked off a debate about Goa’s importance as a tiger corridor. A few persons from the village of Keri were interrogated in connection with the killing and the case is under investigation.
Recently, forest department officials discovered bones and other remains of a tiger carcass, parts of which have been sent to the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, for confirmatory forensic tests.
Stressing the importance of such an understanding between the forest officials of neighbouring states, another forest department official said, “Goa’s forests are part of the Western Ghats, which also pass through Maharashtra and Karnataka. Animals like elephants and tigers do not recognize political boundaries and move freely in contiguous forest areas across states.”
Stating that such coordination will help wild life conservation and habitat management, the official said, “It will help in tracking, detecting and catching persons involved in illegalities as they move freely from one state to another and help in sharing of good management practices.”