Report calls for addressing management issues of sanctuaries

Wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala should address the “overarching problems” of fire, grazing, invasive species and monoculture plantations to improve their scores in management effectiveness, suggested a national-level evaluation report.

The Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries in the State was done as part of a national exercise, jointly carried out by the Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Wildlife Institute of India.

The effectiveness of Malabar, Neyyar, Peechi- Vazhani, Wayanad, Kottiyoor and Kurunjimala wildlife sanctuaries and the Thattekkad and Mangalavanam bird sanctuaries were evaluated for the 2018-19 period.

Good rating

While Thattekkad Bird Sanctuary got a very good rating with a MEE Score of 77.50%, six others were rated good. Mangalavanam Bird Sanctuary turned out to be a poor performer among the lot with a score of 56.25% and was categorised as fair.

The presence of large human settlements in protected areas such as Wayanad forced the managements to spend significant time to sort out their issues besides addressing the problems related to weed and invasive species management and proliferation of livestock, it said.

The report suggested rationalising the boundaries of some of the protected areas such as the Kottiyoor and Aralam sanctuaries. These two could be made a single unit with a compact and modest-sized landscape under a better and unified management regime than being two small protected areas with separate management regimes, it suggested.

The report commended on the efforts of the sanctuaries to establish linkages with professional research organisations and institutions for research, documentation and monitoring of important flora and fauna.

Community role

The Eco Development Committees of these protected areas won appreciation for community participation and eliciting support in management. The “systematic and well-organised” nature education camps in well-appointed education and interpretation centres also won a word of praise.

The contiguity of the protected areas of Kerala with the larger interstate, trans-boundary habitat landscapes was also appreciated in the report.

The absence of programmes for development of capable and skilled human resource, including professional training in wildlife management, is a major drawback, the report noted.

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 2:06:30 PM |

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