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Tiger killed by carnivore in buffer zone of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>In more bad news for tigers and animal lovers in Maharashtra, the state lost yet another tiger. The big cat was killed by another carnivore in the buffer zone of the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. (TATR).This has taken the number of tiger mortalities in Maharashtra this year to 15, which is at par with the highest toll recorded.State forest department officials said that forest department staff, who were visiting the Janala village in Chandrapur after a farmer’s cow was killed by a tiger, had chanced upon the carcass of the slain big cat on Wednesday. “The tiger may have been killed in a fight with another tiger. The slain tiger was aged around one-and-half years,” said an official. The tail and a rear leg of the killed tiger was severed from his body during the fight and some part of the body was also eaten by wild animals making it difficult to identify the gender. “The other tiger too may have been injured badly in the fight as we heard it cry out in pain at a distance,” the official added. In 2016, India lost 98 tigers–the highest since 2010 and this year, the toll stands at 79.In 2016, Maharashtra accounted for 15 mortalities–the highest so far. In 2015, Maharashtra’s tiger deaths stood at 12, up from seven in 2014 and 10 in 2013. Tiger mortalities were 13 in 2012 and four each in 2011 and 2010. As on November 17 this year, the tiger deaths in Maharashtra are 15. Since November 4, 2016, a total of six tigers have been electrocuted in the state. This includes Srinivas, the son of Maharashtra’s iconic tiger Jai, who was electrocuted to death in the Nagbhid range in April. Maharashtra has six tiger reserves, namely Tadoba Andhari, Pench, Bor, Sahyadri, Melghat and Navegaon Nagzira. According to the tiger census, results for which were released in 2014, India has 2,226 tigers, up from 1,706 in 2010. The state has around 190 such big cats, more than the figure of 169 in 2010.

Six tigers electrocuted in Maharashtra in 1 year

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>There is a new danger lurking for Maharashtra’s tigers—that of death by electrocution. Between November 2016 to November 2017, the state lost six tigers due to poaching by electrocution.This includes Srinivas, who was electrocuted to death in Nagbhid range in April. In 2017, Maharashtra lost 15 tigers to various causes, of which five deaths are due to electrocution.”Patches around farms are electrified to kill herbivores, but it leads to the deaths of carnivores like tigers and also human beings,” said a senior forest department official. Sometimes, tigers are killed along with the herbivores when the two are electrocuted during the chase.He added that many put on electrified wires deliberately for poaching. “If these agriculturists want to protect their crops, they can use solar fencing as it has been done in the villages in a 2,500 hectare area around the Tadoba Andhari tiger reserve,” the official said.”The major problem is 11KV lines, which are illegally hooked. The Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Company Limited (MahaVitaran) should launch underground cabling and insulation of networks in these areas and also shift these poles to the main roads to prevent them from being tapped,” he noted.Dr Anish Andheria, President, Wildlife Conservation Trust (WCT) said that it was a grave situation as electrocution was killing more animals than organised poaching. “We got to know about tigers as two of them were even radio collared think about the numbers of leopards, wolves and other mammals killed due to electrocution and never reported,” he said.History speaksIn 2016, India lost 98 tigers — the highest since 2010. Of these Maharashtra accounted for 15 mortalities.In 2015, the deaths stood at 12, up from seven in 2014 and 10 in 2013.

Dead tiger cub found floating at Talodi

<!– /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.

Book that turns focus on nature conservation

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>On the occasion of World Forestry Day on Wednesday, the release of Hirawa Sangharsh (Green Battle), a book in Marathi language authored by engineer-turned conservationist Kishor Rithe, at the Mantralaya, recast the spotlight on issues confronting the state’s flora and fauna. “Contrary to what politicians say, Maharashtra has been witnessing a steady erosion of ‘dense forest cover’ for many years now. But, it has been camouflaged in official statistics with an over-all increase in forest area, says Rithe, a member of Maharashtra state Board for Wildlife, and the president of Satpuda Foundation, an NGO working to save wildlife and forests across central India. His book not only draws upon his personal experiences and observations over the last 28 years, but also seeks inspiration from the contributions of other eminent minds in the field of conservation. The main purpose of Hirawa Sangharsh is to focus on problems as well as offer solutions, says Rithe.While raising awareness about illegal felling of trees for domestic and commercial purposes, over-grazing of cattle, over-population of unproductive cattle, forest fires and depletion of underground water table, the book also talks about how the effective convergence of existing government schemes and the involvement of all stakeholders can bring about a lasting impact on the ecosystem. “Concurrently, we should also turn the core forest areas into inviolate space and prevent illegal encroachments in the buffer areas, forest corridors and all forest areas outside the protected areas of sanctuaries and national parks” says the green warrior, who is a strong believer in community participation for preservation and conservation practices.One of the chapters in the book dwells on success stories of tiger conservation and how villagers in the buffer areas of the tiger habitat have benefitted in the process. “The increase in big cat population at the Tadoba-Andhari Reserve has been a win-win situation for all. The revenue generated from the reserve has increased from Rs75 lakh in 2009-10 to Rs 5 crore in 2016. This money is being shared with the villagers in the buffer area who have realised the importance of protecting wildlife,” he says. Inspired by this development, other villages in that zone want to notify their areas as part of the buffer area. “The idea is to make them see that the tiger is not an adversary but a source of economic incentives and employment opportunities. Only then can we significantly reduce man-animal conflict.”

Tigress responsible for deaths of two people captured in Chandrapur

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Around three weeks after she first made a human kill, the state forest department managed to capture a tigress who had spread fear in Chandrapur. The tigress, who was darted and tranquilized by forest officials in the buffer area of the Tadoba Andhari tiger reserve (TATR) on Wednesday, was later sent to the Gorewada zoo in Nagpur, said senior forest officials. Officials admit that after three human deaths–of which two were attributed to this feline– they were faced with massive public pressure to capture or eliminate her. The tigress, a young adult, had also injured two humans, while on Sunday, a cowherd managed to save himself by the skin of his teeth by climbing a tree. This led to fear in the TATR buffer and parts of the adjoining areas in Chandrapur like Shindewahi and Shivni as the tigress appeared in public in broad daylight. Officials then secured permission from the chief wildlife warden to eliminate the tigress in case she could not be captured alive. The tigress had made her kills on January 13 and 25 and injured two people on January 24 and 26. Finance and forests minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has issued orders for the animal to be captured and warned of action against forest officials in case of lapses.Officials had said in case the options of physical restraint using a cage or chemical restraint (tranquilization) did not work, they would have to eliminate her. The TATR and Chandrapur territorial area have a healthy tiger ecosystem. According to last year’s Phase IV camera trapping exercise, these habitats have 61 and 43 tigers respectively, the highest in Maharashtra, which officials admit has caused “overpopulation” and conflict.National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)’s statistics show that tiger mortalities in Maharashtra between 2010 and 2016-end stand at 65 due to reasons ranging from accidents, poaching, natural causes and electrocution. This month, two tigers have died, including one due to poaching.Man- animal conflict in ChandrapurSeptember 2016: A tigress in the Bramhapuri forest division kills a woman, injures three others, is then captured and relocated to Chaprala wildlife sanctuary in Gadchiroli in November.July 2014: A tiger is shot dead by Chandrapur police sharpshooters in a conflict situation.In around 10 years, Maharashtra has seen 339 humans killed by wild animals, while 5,137 were injured in animal attacks between 2008-09 and October 2016.

Tigress who had preyed on three women captured

<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>A tigress who had killed at least three women last month and was roaming in Shivni range of forests in buffer zone of Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) was captured by forest personnel today. “The feline was spotted in compartment no-233 under Shivni beat in morning and was tranquillised successfully. The tigress was shifted to Moharli nursery in a cage for preliminary medical checkup,” a department release stated. According to foresters, the behaviour of the tigress was found to be unusual and she was often sighted in the farms adjoining the villages in Brahmapuri and Sindewahi range of forests under TATR buffer zone since last month.(This article has not been edited by DNA’s editorial team and is auto-generated from an agency feed.)

Maharashtra tiger corridors to get 2-tier security force

<!– /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

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