New strength to tiger conservation in Vidarbha region

Posted on
21 April 2011
WWF-India continues infrastructure support to forest departments in Central India

City amidst tiger forests
Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region is located in the heart of India, both in terms of geography as well as tiger areas. The city of Nagpur particularly has a number of tiger areas surrounding it. Within its 200km radius there are three tiger reserves (Melghat, Tadoba-Andhari and Pench) as well as many wildlife sanctuaries (WLS), which have breeding tiger populations in them (Bor, Nagzira and Navegaon). The latest tiger estimation conducted in these Protected Areas (PAs) in 2010 has revealed an upward trend in the number of tigers residing there. In a positive development the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India is setting up the first regional office of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory body of Government of India, in Nagpur. The move has seen strong support from Mr. Vilas Muttemwar, Member of Parliament from Nagpur, who has been requesting the status of a ‘world tiger capital’ for the city.

Continuing support to Vidharba
WWF-India’s Satpuda-Maikal Landscape (SML) tiger conservation program was initiated in 2003 to work on tiger conservation at the landscape level in Central India. One of the aims is to support tiger conservation by providing basic facilities to help patrol the forests more effectively. WWF-India has been supporting the tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries in this landscape’s Vidarbha region by providing vehicles for patrolling, tractors and trucks to supply water to waterholes in the forests, as well as metal detectors to locate traps laid by the poachers. WWF-India has also been helping the frontline staff of the Forest Department by providing field gear like quality winter jackets, blankets, mosquito nets, shoes, torches and water-bottles.

The most recent support was given on 24 March 2011, when a hundred mosquito nets were provided to the field staff of the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR). The gear was handed over to Dr. Vinay Sinha, IFS, Field Director of TATR by Mr. Sanjay Thakur, Senior Project Officer of WWF-India’s Seoni office in SML. In the adjoining Pench TR in Madhya Pradesh, 320 mosquito nets were provided on 26 February.

Earlier, on 14 January, four pick-up trucks (Bolero Campers) were provided to TATR, Pench TR and Tipeshwar WLS. The vehicles were handed over to the Field Directors of these Protected Areas in the presence of Dr. D.C. Pant, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Maharashtra by Mr. Ravi Singh, SG & CEO, WWF-India and Mr. Eberhard Brandes, CEO, WWF-Germany. This handing over event was attended by other officers from the Forest Department as well as members of WWF- India’s Satpuda Maikal landscape teams based at Mandla and Seoni.

On 7 January WWF-India handed over 230 winter jackets to Dr. Nayak, Field Director, Pench TR meant for the field staff of Pench (MP). This is in addition to 230 blankets that were provided to Pench TR, on 7 Dec 2010. Likewise a hundred blankets were provided to the field staff of TATR on the same day. This support has benefited the staff to patrol the forests particularly in the early mornings and evenings of the cold winters, which the region is known for.

WWF-India will continue to support and strengthen capacity of the Forest Departments to conserve tigers and wildlife of this landscape.
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