Project tiger staff on cloud nine over WCS report
By Shyam Sundar Vattam | Published: 28th December 2012 10:35 AM |
The staff of Project Tiger of Karnataka are on cloud nine. The report by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), New York, indicating a sharp increase in tiger population has come as a shot in arm for hundreds of personnel involved in the protection of tigers in five reserves in the state.
“If the tiger population has increased, the credit should go to the frontline staff who work day and night keeping a tight vigil on tigers,” said field director B G Hosmath of Project Tiger.
He told Express he has been personally monitoring the steady growth of tiger population especially in Bandipur National Park and BRT sanctuary. The vigilant staff are keeping tigers safe from poachers by manning border areas.
There are approximately five to 12 tigers in 100 sq km in Karnataka. The Nilgiri Biosphere encompassing Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu acts as a natural habitat for the tigers.
In fact, the field director said that Karnataka is the first state in the country to raise a Tiger Protection Force.
The force has a dedicated staff and is provided with vehicles and arms to keep poachers at a bay.
The tiger population is increasing despite a lot of pressure on forests due to human activities and economic development.
The field director said that it is possible to keep up the motivation level of the field staff if the government
provides incentives such as good pay package and accommodation to staff. Staying away from families for a long period and spending most of time inside forests would definitely demotivate them.
Recently, they have started the Employees Welfare Fund to take care of medical requirements of staff members.
The Wildlife Trust of India, Mumbai, has donated vehicles and other facilities worth `2.5 crore appreciating the steps taken by the Project Tiger of Karnataka in conservation activities, Hosmath added.