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Team reaches Corbett for security evaluation

The team reached the reserve on February 19 and will be collecting information on security until February 22.

dehradun Updated: Feb 20, 2018 21:41 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Uttarakhand news,Global Tiger Forum,Corbett Tiger Reserve
The members visited 100 forest chowkis and interviewed the field staff.(HT FILE PHOTO)

A three-member team of Global Tiger Forum (GTF) has reached the Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) for security evaluation. The team observed conservation strategies, infrastructure and also reviewed official documents.

The team reached the reserve on February 19 and will be collecting information on security until February 22. On Tuesday, the members visited 100 forest chowkis and interviewed the field staff. The staff was questioned on the patrolling schedule, weapons provided, monitoring data sheets and other details.

“The report of the security audit will be submitted to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA),” VK Patnaik, who is heading the team and former chief wildlife warden of Uttar Pradesh, said.

A similar audit is being done in all tiger reserves of the country. Having limited manpower, the authority this time has roped in GTF, which is already facilitating various modules for NTCA. One of the key tasks undertaken by GTF is maintaining dialogue between tiger range countries (TRC) – countries where tigers still roam free – adjoining India for better evaluation and monitoring of the big cats.

GTF is headed by Rajesh Gopal, who was earlier the member secretary of NTCA. The forum, in association with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), shortlists forest divisions and reserves for global Conservation Assured Tiger Standards (CATS) — a felicitation for best practices adopted to safeguard tigers in the world.

Last year, Lansdowne forest division of Uttarakhand had been awarded.

“This audit is not only from the viewpoint of protection but also to explain the measures that are being taken by the reserves for the protection of big cats,” Shivraj Singh, wildlife warden Corbett said.

The team will also review the Southern boundary which is porous. NTCA in association with a third party had installed nine electronic surveillance cameras but last year, the party quit demanding crores for the maintenance. Following which, the reserve management took over two cameras — reporting of which is done at Corbett headquarters at Ramnagar, but remaining seven cameras are still non-functional.

“We hope through this audit, we are able to strengthen vigilance in the southern boundary,” Surendra Mehra, director Corbett said.

First Published: Feb 20, 2018 21:41 IST