Cameras at ATR to Track Leopard Movement
By S Senthil Kumar | Published: 02nd February 2014 07:51 AM |
Officials of Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) are planning to setup cameras at various places in Valparai to monitor leopards entering human habitations. The decision was taken by the department after efforts to trap the animal for more than a month proved futile.
Cages had been setup at various spots, but it had managed to evade being trapped. “After inspecting the spots in Valparai, I instructed the forest ranger to setup two or three cameras with in next three days. The cameras will help us find out whether the animal is injured or if there are any other reasons that are encouraging the animal to enter residential areas,” field director of Anamalai Tiger Reserve Rajiv Sri K Vastava told Express.
“Locals should cooperate with the department by not littering poultry waste on the open ground as it will attract the leopard,” he added.
Presently, the department has placed a cage at Sirukundra road, where the leopard used to frequently cross. Three anti-poaching watchers and a forest guard were also deputed on duty during nights after a pet dog was killed by the leopard.
Of the four forest staff, three are visiting residential area and sensitising residents about not tying pet dogs and chickens in front of their houses. One staff member is stationed near the cage. The leopard had entered residential areas in Valparai and killed two dogs in a month.
Meanwhile, the forest helpline (04253-223222) launched at Rottikadai to mitigate man-animal conflicts in the hill town of Valparai is yet to receive calls. Sources said that though members of the anti-depredation squad attended three calls on elephant intrusions over the last two days, the calls were received on the forest officials cellphone.
Around 8.30 pm on Thursday, a forest staff of the anti-depredation squad received a call asking them to reach Nadumalai estate, where three elephants entered into a residential area. Similarly, three elephants had entered the same area at 3pm on Friday. Moreover, 16 elephant had entered the Upper Paralai estate on Friday. However, no damages were reported in the incidents.
Meanwhile, four special teams were formed to monitor the presence of wild animals at Zakir Naickenpalayam, where three sheep were killed two days ago at a farm.