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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Will it? or Will not?

It is an animal with head under guillotine blade. And the question asked is, will it or will it not become extinct? In fact the situation is so precarious that there is no surety as to what the next population count will reveal. The animal once roamed in large numbers as the King of forests now lives as a pet cat in protected areas.  

This year I saw few tigers on birding trips in Corbett and Kanha National Parks. But there was hardly any joy or thrill the sighting generated remorse and lot of thinking.  For it is now a possibility that coming generations may not see this magnificent animal in the wild.. The burgeoning humanity and political wranglings have made the protected area insecure. 

One visit to Kanha and Corbett periphery will give you and idea of what I am trying to confer through my blog. In seventies a visit to Kanha would have been an experience sans humanity around it. There were few small tribal villages but not the urbanity you see today. Though land had been opened up there were present pockets of pristine forests which made your journey towards the park an enchanting experience. 

Tourism is good for conservation but it certainly needs a looking into. This kind of congregation should certainly be reduced around all parks. If it is urgent to relocate tribal villages from within the confines of the Buffer and core zones than it is also imperative to relocate budding establishments and private houses a respectable distance away. The latter may not happen since it is impractical keeping the costs in mind. But henceforth further construction should be stopped immediately. They new construction should be pushed back far way at least a radius of ten km from any ecosystem taking into account that open scrub constitutes an ecosystem for hyena, wolf, Nilgai and other open country animals.

Managing such large human populations is not easy but then we have usurped so much area that constitutes natural home for other life forms. And the savage ingress goes on... Can we not increase some more area wherever possible and reduce the interference of this destructive species Homo erectus? 

In cities land has been taken over by the Government in order to build wider and better road networks. A due consideration has been forwarded. Can we not find solution for villages around areas of natural heritage. Such that relocation succeeds and is permanent. But the local politics does not understand all this. Many are not capable of understanding or appreciating natural phenomenons. For most such places are more of an irritant a challenge to their management capabilities. The worst - Vote politics.

The buffer zones are no more secure from poachers and wood loggers then they were before. Although it is impossible to guard such a vast area but there should be some mechanism in place. There was lot of controversy in Kanha regarding discovery of deadly metal traps or snares within the core. Although by all means Kanha is one of the best managed parks in India. But than we thought nearly the same of Sariska and Panna - look what happened.

The beat guards and foresters are helpless whence confronted by goons or organized gangs of poachers. Some of them are in league with poachers. Many wrong doers may have political shelter or be powerful enough themselves. I keep on reading that very few people have been convicted in wildlife crimes.  Why? The crimes are rampant the media informs us.