<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The state forest department recovered the carcass of a tiger cub at Talodi near Chandrapur district on Thursday. The district, which accounts for a significant tiger population in Maharashtra, also saw an incident of man-animal conflict with a leopard injuring five people.Since April 1, the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) and the neighbouring Chandrapur territorial circle saw eight people being killed in tiger and bear attacks. This indicates a rise in man-animal conflict as human population and numbers of tigers and wild animals are both increasing.A forest department official said they found the body of a two-month-old tiger cub floating in a pond near Govindpur in the Brahmapuri forest division. “This seems to be a natural death as the body parts are intact,” the official said. However, he added a post-mortem will be conducted.In another incident, the official added, a leopard had attacked and injured five people at Manemohadi near Talodi. “We have sealed one side of a pipe in which the leopard is hiding, and have kept a trap at the other side to catch him. However, the crowd outside is huge which has led to the leopard refusing to come out,” he explained.Three of the injured in the incident, Giridhar Mundhare (45), Vikas Jiwtode (35) and Daulat Dhadse (55) have been sent for medical treatment to Chandrapur city and two of the victims, whose injuries are minor, are being treated at a local hospital.The TATR and Chandrapur territorial area have a healthy tiger populatiob. According to last year’s camera trapping exercise, there are 61 and 43 tigers respectively, the highest in Maharashtra. Officials admit that this has caused ‘overpopulation’ and thus, conflict.Maharashtra tiger population was around 190 in 2014, up from 169 in 2010. The tiger census results, released in 2014, said India has 2,226 tigers, up from 1,706 in 2010.The state has six tiger reserves — Pench, Tadoba- Andhari, Melghat, Navegaon-Nagzira, Sahyadri, Bor and Navegaon-Nagzira.IN SHORTThe cub that was found was only two-months old, according to forest department officials.
Officials said the cub died naturally as the body was intact.
In another incident, a leopard had attacked five people. Of the five injured, three were sent to nearest city hospital.
<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>The Maharashtra Forest Department will soon be setting up 100 Primary Response Teams (PRT) comprising of local villagers and three Rapid Response Team (RRT) manned by experts in a major move to tackle rising man-animal conflict in the wildlife corridor of Nagzira-Navegaon-Tadoba with the gradual rise in the tiger population.This is one of the several projects under the ambitious Rs 15 crore initiative titled ‘Integrated Tiger Habitat Conservation and Livelihood Development Programme’, funded by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The project will be driven by a consortium of six NGOs, led by the state forest department in two prime tiger corridors, Nagzira-Navegaon-Tadoba and Melghat-Bor-Pench.The PRTs will include volunteers from villages volunteers, who will be trained to handle human-animal conflict situation before the forest department arrives. Besides first aid, they will also be given training in identifying animal signs, creating awareness in villages, crowd control.Similarly, there will be three well-equipped RRTs in Nawegaon-Nagzira, Nawegaon-Umred Karandla and Brahmapuri-Tadoba corridor sections, managed by Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) in coordination with the forest department.“Vehicles assigned to RRTs will be equipped with tranquillizer gun, trap cages, camera traps, nets, and public announcements systems. These will be manned by a veterinarian, a trained biologist and also a trained sociologist, for community engagement during conflict situation,” said Dr Mayukh Chatterjee, Head, Human-Wildlife Conflict Mitigation Division, Maharashtra’s project for WTI.According to a senior forest official, while at present the forest department sponsors the enrichment and protecting the core areas, several financial initiatives under various schemes are available for the villages in buffer zone.However, there is no scheme to reduce forest dependency of villagers settled in the corridors. “The corridors are degrading with forests being cleared, and the incidence of tigers or leopards being killed, in retaliation for loss of livestock or poaching, is high. Thus this is where this project will play a crucial role in helping protect the corridors,” he said.Senior forest officials state that this is the first time in India when major NGOs in the field like WTI, Wildlife Conservation Trust, Wildlife Research and Conservation Society, The Research and Conservation Trust, and Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) have come together for a project.Shree Bhagwan, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) said the main focus will be to involve local communities and aim at protection of corridors necessary for tiger movement, and also to ensure gene dispersal.“The development of habitats will help tigers and the creation of alternate livelihoods will help villages reduce their dependence on forests and bring down man-animal conflict,” he said