Conservation efforts at the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) near here which have of late been visibly stepped up have been further strengthened with the introduction of a highway patrol system.
Pointing out that the patrol system came into being recently, Field Director, MTR, Rajiv K. Srivastava told The Hindu on Tuesday that the new measure was part of a plan of action put in place to deal with the fallout of a considerable increase in the flow of tourists to the reserve and the significant increase in the number of vehicles using the highway which cut through the reserve.
Mr. Srivastava said pressure on the habitat was mounting and privacy of wild animals was now under threat. Many of the tourists and some of those passing through teased the wild animals like elephants, bisons and deer which move to the edge of the forests, particularly in the evening. In the process, they not only disturbed the animals but also exposed themselves to the danger of being attacked, he said.
Since many of the motorists threw caution to the winds and drove at high speed while heading towards Karnataka and Kerala or coming towards Ooty, often wild animals which criss-crossed the road got run over.
Warning signs were not producing the desired results and hence the highway patrol system was introduced, Mr. Srivastava said.
The patrol teams in jeeps would maintain a round-the-clock vigil.
They would also help prevent bush fires.