Guwahati, Jun 4: All four tiger reserves of Assam have received accreditation by the National Committee of Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CATS) for maintaining a high standard of conservation, an official release said on Friday.
The accreditation has been given to Kaziranga, Manas, Nameri and Orang tiger reserves. The CATS assessment has been conducted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory body under the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. The NTCA has laid down a benchmark for managing conservation sites through a set of minimum standards based on 17 parameters ranging from social, cultural and biological significance to infrastructure, equipment and from management planning to human-wildlife conflict management, the release said.
Based on these parameters, the NTCA has given a score of 81.25 per cent to Kaziranga, 78.49 per cent to Manas, 71.21 per cent to Nameri and 74.01 per cent to Orang tiger reserves, it said. Assam Environment and Forest Minister Parimal Suklabaidya said that the CATS accreditation accorded to the four tiger reserves of the state is a most welcome development and good news for conservationists and animal lovers.
"The CATS certificate will go a long way in further strengthening and improving management interventions insofar as conservation of big cats in Assam is concerned", Suklabaidya added. Besides the four of Assam, Kanha and Panna tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh and Sunderban in West Bengal also received the accreditation. Launched in 2013 with tigers as the first species selected for the initiative, the conservation tool vis-a-vis CATS was developed in collaboration with field managers, tiger experts and government agencies engaged in tiger conservation.