A high alert has been sounded in all 17 tiger reserves in the country, including Uttarakhand’s world famous Corbett Tiger Reserve. The alert has been sounded following eight tiger deaths reported recently from Assam’s Kaziranga National Park, officials said.
“Incidentally, all these tiger deaths were reported from the protected area within just three months since November,” said DS Rawat, warden, Corbett Tiger Reserve. “Of the eight tigers who were found dead in the Kaziranga National Park, two died of poisoning whereas the cause of the death of the other six is not known,” he said.
Following these deaths, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) put officials manning all the 17 tiger reserves on high alert, directing them to keep a close watch on poachers, Rawat said.
“In compliance with the NTCA directive, intensive round-the-clock patrolling was launched in the Corbett reserve’s peripheral areas in the first week of February as part of the campaign code-named Operation Lord, Rawat said.
“No need was felt to carry out the operation in the reserve’s core zone because it is a well-guarded area,” the warden said.
Giving details of Operation Lord, he said joint patrols were being conducted by patrols belonging to the Corbett reserve and the Tiger Protection Force.
Rawat said foresters patrolling the reserve were well equipped in terms of arms and communication facilities. The exercise would not only help protect tigers and leopards but also other flagship species, such as elephants.
“As per the 2007 animal census, the populations of tigers and leopards in the Corbett Tiger Reserve stand at 164 and 107, respectively,” Rawat told HT.