MP gears up to win back Tiger State status

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 09 Oct 2017 10:22:25


By Ashish Rajput,

MADHYA Pradesh is geared up with fresh hopes to win back status of ‘Tiger State’ in forthcoming Tiger Census-2018. The State Forest Department will use advanced technology to ensure exact sign survey with well trained forest personnel. Wildlife experts alleged that the State had lost its status of tiger state following some lacunas in trapping less number of big cats. Tiger population in the State was reported 308 in Census-2014 against the number of 257 tigers in Census-2010 and 300 in 2006. Karnataka had topped and bagged the top slot with 406 tigers in 2014.

Now, Madhya Pradesh Forest Department has started preparations to implement best practices in next tiger census. State Forest Research Institute (SFRI), Jabalpur, is the nodal agency for training forest personnel before Tiger Census-2018. SFRI, Senior Research Officer and Head of Wildlife Branch, Anjana Rajput, while talking to ‘The Hitavada’ informed that primary training of more than 300 master trainers was completed and the department is waiting for fresh guidelines of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to finalise preparations for new tiger census. Master trainers will impart beat wise training in their respective areas and a refresher training to be provided right before start of census.

She added that master trainers were given literature and given training of keeping a vigilant eye on every minute sign for identification of tigers. Along with camera traps, forest personnel were informed about identification of tigers through pugmarks and other signs. Besides this, efforts are being made to equip forest teams with hi-tech gadgets for collection of tiger marks. Forest officers were taken out for field visit in different territories of Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, Panna Tiger Reserve, Kanha Tiger Reserve, Sanjay Gandhi Tiger Reserve, Pachmarhi and Ralamandal Sanctuary, Indore, to provide practical training.