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Issues concerning tiger conservation discussed

By Debasish Baruah

KAZIRANGA, Jan 6 - A two-day meeting of Chief Wildlife Wardens of Tiger Range States and Field Directors of Tiger Reserves concluded here today.

The two-day meeting witnessed presentation of more than 40 papers by various senior forest officers coming from different tiger reserves of the country. Discussion on various core issues like implementation of Tiger Monitoring System, Intensive Patrolling and Ecological Status (M-STriPES), All India Tiger Estimation, Management Effectiveness Evaluation of Tiger Reserves and Online Submission of Annual Plan of Operation were held.

Additional Director General and Member Secretary of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), BS Bonal stressed on implementation of the tripartite MoUs between the State governments and tiger reserves and outlined the need to utilise the Digital India initiatives. Dr SP Yadav, Assistant General of Global Tiger Forum gave an overview of Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CATS) and its potential in implementing beyond boundaries of tiger reserves since 40% of India�s tigers are thriving outside the reserves.

After the two-day deliberations, emphasis was given on issues related to planning, promotion, coordination, standardisation of protocols to be followed during tiger population estimation etc., development of real time tracking tools and IT-based applications. A road map was chalked out for proper tiger conservation, zero tolerance towards poaching and sustainability for increasing the tiger population with reference to the carrying capacity of any particular forest area.

Bonal stressed on improvement of shortcomings for the betterment of tiger reserves. He said that emphasis would be given on performance audit, adding that visits would be made to different tiger reserves, including Kaziranga. A group of MPs would be visiting different tiger reserves in the country and they would present suggestions and chalk out plans for further development.

Drone surveillance had been permitted by the Union Home and Defence Ministry for Kaziranga National Park-cum-Tiger Reserve, besides Panna, Dudhuwa and other tiger reserves of India, said Bonal for checking poaching activities.

Linking of websites of various tiger reserves was more important and it should be done soon, suggested Bonal during his concluding remarks at the end of the two-days meeting today. Sharing of important information too was stressed.

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