BARIPADA: To keep an eye on illegal activities and prevent poaching in the protected area, the Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) management has intensified monsoon patrolling. More than 800 front-line staff positioned in 214 anti-poaching camps are engaged in patrolling every day, Regional Chief Conservator of Forest (RCCF) and field director of STR, T Ashok Kumar said.
The national park remains open from November to mid-June after which it remains shut for visitors to ensure disturbance-free mating and breeding for wildlife as well as for the repair of roads that get damaged due to rains. This triggers possibility of encroachment and poaching which prompts the national park authorities to keep a close vigil.
The RCCF said, patrolling is intensified during monsoon because animals commonly mate and breed during this period and sometimes cross forest boundaries which leads to poaching. Also, the tiger reserve becomes vulnerable to illicit felling as large part of the park remains inaccessible and mobility of staff is considerably impaired during the rainy season though no illegal activity inside and outside boundaries of the forests adjoining STR has been reported yet.
Emphasis is being given to the inaccessible areas with high wildlife density. Group patrolling, joint patrolling and camp to camp patrolling is being done for more effectiveness and staff from adjacent territorial divisions are also being involved for obtaining better coordination in protection efforts, said Kumar. Field staff are also involved in intelligence gathering through own sources as well as from local haats, he added.