Forest officials elated over boom in tiger population

Forest officials elated over boom in tiger population
Highlights

Tigress Phalguna gave birth to three cubs recently and their movement was noticed in Kagaznagar forest area, forest officials stated on Tuesday. In April 2018, the local staff noticed a new set of pugmarks of female with cubs.

Tigress Phalguna gave birth to three cubs recently and their movement was noticed in Kagaznagar forest area, forest officials stated on Tuesday. In April 2018, the local staff noticed a new set of pugmarks of female with cubs.

This was confirmed by Kagaznagar Forest Divisional Officer (FDO) Narsimha Reddy and Asifabad Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) Ranjeet Naik. Subsequently on April 24 this year, another litter was photographed in Kagaznagar division. Earlier, the tigress gave birth to four cubs in 2016.

Kawal was declared as Tiger Reserve in 2012 as it had good potential for hosting and breeding of Tigers. The overall goal of Kawal’s declaration is providing habitat to dispersing tigers from Tadoba Landscape in Maharashtra.

The Tiger Conservation Plan envisioned that suppression of anthropogenic pressures and increasing protection for Kawal will attract the dispersing population of Tigers from the Tiger Reserves in Maharashtra and Chattisgarh.

Meanwhile, local residents were sensitised on Tiger movement and dissuaded from retaliatory killing in case of cattle kills. Through poster campaigns, meetings and public-address systems, a strong message to protect tigers in these areas was initiated by Telangana forest department.

Consistent efforts by Telangana forest department, bolstered by involvement of NGO’s, local communities and people’s representatives are yielding good results with Tigress with cubs being recorded regularly on cameras.

FDPT C Saravanan observed that “Cubs appear to be healthy and of 7-8 months of age”. The history testifies that Phalguna had successfully raised four cubs and added to Adilabad landscape.

“Camera-trap photos of tiger cubs shows that the Telangana region may have already started hosting a resident population of Tigers, thanks to persistent conservation efforts,” says Imran Siddiqui, a member of State Board for Wildlife and Tiger Steering Committee.

Telangana forest department has intensified monitoring efforts in Kagaznagar with directions from head office for better management of fire and zero tolerance towards encroachments, poaching or habitat loss. Capacity building of existing staff is being undertaken and posting of trained wildlife officers on priority was being considered.

Additional Chief Conservator of Forests (WL) Munindra said “The planned effort including surveillance and protection, habitat improvement like creation of waterholes, building of prey-base by release of spotted deer, scaling of awareness programme and taking strict measures to remove hunting and trapping devices like live electric line etc, are yielding good results. We consider Corridor as extension of Kawal Tiger Reserve and Phase IV of tiger monitoring is being extended in Corridor Areas too”.

DFO Ranjit Nayak said the entire forest staff and basecamp watchers were allotted duties in turns to monitor all the vulnerable areas and they are removing electric snares and monitoring tigers. We have sought support from Superintendent of Police and District Collector of Asifabad, who are providing us with consistent support.

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