Environment

Tiger reserves put on alert

The Canine Distemper disease is primarily carried from dogs to tigers. Photo: M.A.Sriram

The Canine Distemper disease is primarily carried from dogs to tigers. Photo: M.A.Sriram   | Photo Credit: M_A_Sriram

The disease was reported in a captive tiger in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, in 2013. Threats to tiger population from Canine Distemper virus (CDV) infection was now widely recognised and addressed in countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has issued a “most urgent” technical note (advisory) to all tiger reserves on the need to take effective steps, exercise vigil and surveillance to prevent the likely outbreak of Canine Distemper (CD) disease among tigers and other animals belonging to the feline group across the country.

However, there has been no report of the outbreak of the disease in Karnataka and effective steps have been initiated in the tiger ranges.

The advisory has been issued by Additional Director-General of Forests (Project Tiger) and Member-Secretary, NTCA, Rajesh Gopal, to the Chief Wildlife Wardens of all States with tiger ranges.

The disease was reported in a captive tiger in Pilibhit, Uttar Pradesh, in 2013. Threats to tiger population from Canine Distemper virus (CDV) infection was now widely recognised and addressed in countries such as Indonesia and Bangladesh, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Ajai Mishra told The Hindu. The disease is primarily carried from dogs to tigers, and unvaccinated dogs are said to be the “domain reservoir” for virus infection in tigers.

Exposure of tigers to the virus is believed to be associated with the hunting of domestic dogs. The big cats resorted to hunting of dogs due to debilities with neurological disorders leading them to search for easy prey, according to the advisory.

It has said stray dogs in and around the tiger reserves should be checked through appropriate means by employing the services of animal husbandry department and professional dog catchers. Mass vaccination of dogs should be taken up.

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Printable version | Feb 24, 2020 3:22:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/tiger-reserves-put-on-alert/article5743729.ece

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