Forest Department has identified core and buffer zones
The proposal for the creation of a tiger reserve in Sathyamangalam forests has reached an advanced stage and is expected to land in the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests for approval by the end of January 2012.
The Forest Department has completed identifying the core and buffer zones for the tiger reserve, a significant step before the creation of an exclusive protection zone for the big cats.
A total of 1.41 lakh hectares in Sathyamangalam forests have been earmarked for the reserve. Of the total area, the core zone comprises 91,726.9 hectares. The forest officials are now studying the cattle and human population in the area.
“We have seven forest settlements and 12 revenue settlements inside the area. The data collection is nearing completion and we are going to conduct a stakeholders meeting with the participation of residents from these settlements soon,” Conservator of Forests, Erode Circle D. Arun told The Hindu.
“The forest region in this part of the State has a healthy tiger population. The Sathyamangalam wildlife sanctuary is home to at least 28 tigers and this has been confirmed by the study conducted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF),” Mr. Arun said.
The creation of the reserve will enable the wildlife managers to ensure greater protection to the wild cats. Tourists and the minimal construction activities will be allowed only in the buffer zone, while forest officials alone will be permitted entry in the areas falling under the core zone.
The authorities in the Central government are very positive on the creation of a tiger reserve in Sathyamangalam. “We have submitted a proposal to the union ministry seeking Rs. 32 lakh to install cameras in different parts of the forests. Currently, the WWF has installed cameras covering about 250 sq km area. We need to cover more areas and monitor the movement of tigers for further data collection and analysis. The camera trap images will also help us identify the movement of poachers. We expect the Centre to sanction the proposal very soon,” Mr. Arun pointed out.
Keywords: tiger reserve