NAGPUR: The National Tiger Conservation Authority, a statutory body under the MoEF monitoring tiger reserves in the country, has directed all the reserves to incorporate supplementary guidelines to prepare tiger conservation plans (TCPs) and has set a deadline of June 15, to submit them.
Like a working plan for territorial areas and management plan for national parks and sanctuaries, a TCP is needed under provisions (Section 38V) of the NTCA for proper management of a tiger reserve, which includes staff development and deployment plan.
Once approved by the NTCA, the TCP aims at ecologically compatible land uses in the tiger reserves and areas linking it to another for addressing the livelihood concerns of locals, so as to provide dispersal habitats and corridors for spillover population of wild animals from the designated core areas.
To strengthen TCP further, the NTCA recently issued supplementary guidelines. State principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF) Sarjan Bhagat said that TCP for Sahyadri has already been cleared by the NTCA.
“TCPs for Tadoba, Melghat and Pench have already been submitted to the NTCA. To discuss supplementary changes, I have a convened a meeting on Monday,” said Bhagat. The changes will be added to the TCPs before the set deadline.
Though most of the directives are the same issued as those in 2007. However, now scientific method of transact line census of animal estimation will have to be included in the TCP for core, buffer and corridors.
Many tiger reserves are still including inputs on animal population in the TCP based on the discarded methods of pugmark and water hole estimation exercises. However, the NTCA wants the reserves to use the Phase I data of 2010 country level tiger assessment for obtaining beat level average data on shrubs, weed, ground cover, and Phase-IV date to indicate tiger presence and relative abundance at beat level.
The supplementary guidelines speak about zone and theme plans for habitat development, relocation of villages, protection, tourism, wildlife monitoring, capacity building etc.
Original Image courtesy and copyright © Grant Atkinson