Forest Department moots veterinary wing, climate profiling of tiger reserves

Published - August 13, 2023 12:48 am IST - Coimbatore

The final day of the T.N. Elephant Conclave 2023 included panel discussions on translocation of wild elephants. 

The final day of the T.N. Elephant Conclave 2023 included panel discussions on translocation of wild elephants.  | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The Forest Department will request the State government to set up a dedicated veterinary wing, conduct climate profiling of all five tiger reserves in the State and expedite efforts at notifying elephant corridors.

It will also seek the production of indigenous radio collars for wildlife management, under the Tamil Nadu Startup and Innovation Mission; separate management plans for elephant reserves; upgrade of infrastructure for frontline staff; and operationalisation of the five command centres sanctioned under the Tamil Nadu Innovation Initiatives funding, Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forests, said in her valedictory remarks at the Tamil Nadu Elephant Conclave 2023 here on Saturday.

In the presence of Minister for Forests M. Mathiventhan, she said the proposals, evolved during discussions at the conclave, would be submitted to the government as Coimbatore Declaration.

She said the department would continue its policy of rewilding elephants, as much as possible, that come into negative interactions with humans to ensure that the animals remain in the wild and not lodged at Kraals. Pointing to the increase in the requirement of radio collars for wildlife management, she said the department cannot depend on expensive tracking devices that are being imported. “ ...We will send a proposal to develop collars for elephants and other animals within Tamil Nadu through the Startup Mission.”

She further said that the department would propose to develop separate management plans for elephant reserves as they have been savaged by various factors, including spread of invasive species. Though efforts are being taken to identify and notify the elephant corridors, there is a need to expedite the works, she added.

Mr. Mathiventhan ,who was present throughout the conclave from Friday, said he learnt various facets of wildlife management and conservation from the sessions, which involved participants ranging from ecologists to anti-poaching watchers. “These sessions enlightened me and solved many doubts I had about elephants and their management,” he said.

The final day of the conclave included panel discussions on translocation of wild elephants and sharing of experience by forest veterinary officers.

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