Task force sights 15 tigers

An appraisal of field implementation made

Staff Correspondent

NEW DELHI: The members of the tiger task force have spotted 15 tigers during their field visits to Pench and Kanha Tiger Reserves in Madhya Pradesh. The task force, headed by Sunita Narain, and its two of its members — Madhav Gadgil and H.S.Panwar — were in Madhya Pradesh between June 8 and 11.

The task force members made an appraisal of field implementation, protection initiatives and involvement of local communities during their field visits. According to the Environment and Forests Ministry spokesperson, detailed interactions with field officers and discussion with local fringe dwelling people formed part of the visits.

In the Kanha Tiger Reserve, the task force sighted 14 tigers and suckling cubs, which included one female and two cubs in Churi, three cubs and one tigress in Schaller Hide and one tigress at Link No.9 in Kanha range, and four cubs and one tigress in Chimta and one tigress at Naki Ghati in Kisli range.

In Pench Tiger Reserve — part of which lies in Maharashtra — the team could spot one tiger.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had constituted the task force on April 19 to review the management of tiger reserves in the country in the wake of depleting tiger population.

The terms of reference of the five-member task force are to suggest measures to strengthen tiger conservation in the country and to incentivise the local community and forest staff in conservation of tigers besides recommending an effective human resource plan for tiger conservation. It will also suggest measures to improve the methodology of tiger counting and forecasting and recommend methods of transparent professional audit of wildlife parks and placing data on tiger conservation in the public domain. Asked to submit its report within three months, the task force has been mandated to come up with a new wildlife management paradigm that shares concerns of conservation with the public at large.

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