Wildlife lovers worry about tiger poaching

Warangal: The slaughter of a tiger, suspected of being a female, by poachers about a fortnight ago within the boundaries of the Eturungaram wildlife reserve caused a lot of suffering to lovers of wildlife and the environment. This barbaric act of certain poachers of the Gothi Koya tribe (Guthi Koya or Muria Gonds) living in the SS Tadvai mandal in the Mulugu district also raised doubts about the commitment of forest officials concerned with protecting the tiger that had made the forests. of ancient Warangal, Khammam and Karimnagar districts its habitat for more than a year after entering these forests from the Indravati Tiger Reserve in neighboring Chhattisgarh.

A tiger was sighted near the Azamnagar village of Bhupalpally mandal in Jayashankar Bhupalpally district in August 2020 after more than a decade. About a week later, he entered Peddapalli district, crossing the Manair River with officials announcing that they had identified the pugmarks on the banks of the river.

Meanwhile, a tiger with a cub was reportedly seen in the Kannaigudem forest area and then again near Azam Nagar in Bhupalpally district. Since then, tiger movement has been reported in several forest areas in Bhupalpally, Mulugu, Warangal and Mahabubabad districts.

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In October 2020, a high-level meeting with the forestry officials of the districts of Mulugu, Mahabubabad, Jayashankar Bhupalpally and Peddapalli under the chairmanship of the Chief Conservator of Forests (CCF), Warangal, MJ Akbar was held in the city of Mulugu. where they discussed the measures to be taken to protect the tiger and also ensure that the area is declared a “Tiger Reserve” since the proposal has been on hold for a long time.

“In 2009, a tiger was sighted in the Rampur forest area under the Pakhal Wildlife Sanctuary. But there was no movement of tigers until August last year in the former district of Warangal, ”Kazipeta Purushotham, former district forestry officer (DFO), Bhupalpally, told Telangana Today. He was working as Bhupalpally’s DFO when the tiger was spotted in Azam Nagar.

“A tiger, which is said to have strayed from Chhattisgarh, was spotted on August 1, 2021 in the Tadvai Forest area by forestry authorities while patrolling the area. Coordination mechanisms have been put in place between these four districts and active patrols of forest areas have been strengthened. Base camp observers, animal trackers as well as forestry staff were deployed to monitor and camera traps were set and the movement of the tiger was monitored, ”said the Chief Forestry Conservator (CCF) , Warangal Circle, SJ Asha, October 3, when police introduced poachers to the media in Mulugu. However, the Orugallu Wildlife Society (OWLS) and Vana Seva Samithi (VSS) have expressed apprehension at the forest authorities’ efforts to protect the tiger.

“Although the tiger area is well known, no concrete effort has been made to reinforce the habitat, no surveillance or monitoring system with a local squad has been seen to recover, recover traps, snares , etc., in the tiger zone. The authorities have done little to educate the public about the need to protect the tiger, and there has been no movement of affected personnel over the past two weeks in the tiger area, ”said a statement. press note published by OWLS.
He added that the police, who were carrying out combing operations, found tiger nails and carcasses but failed to “notify” the forestry authorities in time, which was an obligation under Section 55 of the WLP law of 1972.

“The police are not allowed to file a complaint,” he said and made some suggestions to the forest authorities to protect the tigers. “Special groups and tiger monitoring teams should be formed, regular ambulation of relevant personnel in the tiger area with monitoring systems like M-STrIPES (Tiger Monitoring System, Intensive Patrolling and State ecological) must be carried out. Lawns, solar boreholes, base camp watchtowers to install in and around areas of tiger movement in addition to training staff on recording wildlife cases and the protocol to be followed during tiger hunting. The charge must be filed immediately, ”said the OWLS. The organization also requested the suspension of personnel up to the level of the forestry officer (FRO) and issued indictment notes against them for their failure.

Former DFO Purushingham also observed that an action plan needs to be prepared to avoid such infractions / incidents in the future for recurrent big cat arrivals in the tiger area. “Changed DFO residential quarters at the sanctuary boundaries not to other neighborhoods. And proposals for more community reserves and conservation reserves should be made, ”he suggested.

Meanwhile, the founder of the Vana Seva Society (VSS), Potlapally Veerabhadra Rao, said a senior chief forest steward (wildlife) and a chief wildlife steward of the Kerala forest department should be appointed. to take care of wildlife, especially tigers and leopards.

“The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) should be assessed to make these forest areas / areas a new tiger reserve,” he added.

Moved by the tiger’s death, OWLS member and environmental activist Pittala Ravi Babu said: “Tigers are not beasts, we (humans) are real beasts. It is very sad to know that not all of us have succeeded in protecting the tiger from poachers, ”he said, and urged the government to take action to protect the Telangana tigers.

Read also :

Five more arrested for killing a tigress in Mulugu

Four poachers arrested for killing tigress in Mulugu

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