Central team finds shortcomings in tiger-combing operations in Ghazipur

Experts from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) are in Ghazipur district to assess the operations of catching a tiger that had strayed nearly a week ago.

Written by Express News Service | Lucknow | Published:January 4, 2009 3:04 am

Experts from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) are in Ghazipur district to assess the operations of catching a tiger that had strayed nearly a week ago.

Experts found that the operations could not become successful because of several shortcomings. The experts ruled out the possibility of declaring the tiger as a maneater. “We are still assessing the situation but it has emerged the Forest Department could have done better,” said Rajesh Gopal,member secretary NTCA.

“To prevent such instances,we need a different strategy. Long-term agreement with an expert body should be chalked out so that expert opinion about tiger conservation could be provided whenever needed. I will discuss the issue with the Uttar Pradesh Forest Department soon,” he added.

Conservationists advocated the use of latest technology like radio collaring of tigers and Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping to catch them. They also suggested capacity building of forest officials and educating the villagers.

The team visited Dewaitha and Tirai village in Jamania tehsil in Ghazipur and searched for the footprints of the tiger.

Ghazipur forest officials claimed that they had spotted the pugmarks leading towards Karmanasha River indicating that the tiger had crossed over to Bihar. “We have got the official confirmation that the tiger has crossed over and was sighted in Kaimur district of Bihar,” said Chief Conservator of Forest,Ghazipur,N R Tiwari.

A team of tiger experts from World Wildlife Federation (WWF),meanwhile,arrived in Faizabad on Saturday morning. The team is tracking another tiger,which had been declared maneater by the state forest department after it killed two persons in Pilibhit and one in Barabanki. The team comprised scientist Bilal Habib,vet PK Mallik,and tiger coordinator of WWF Divash Pandav.

They said the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has decided not to eliminate the maneater tiger,but to catch it and release it in the dense Himalayan forest.

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