AboutZoos, Since 2008


Every tiger, leop­ard death will be pre­sumed poach­ing, NTCA says

pub­lished 02 June 2012 | mod­i­fied 05 Decem­ber 2012

National Tiger Con­ser­va­tion Author­ity (NTCA) of India has decided that hence­forth every case of tiger and leop­ard death will be treated as poach­ing inci­dent unless proved to be nat­ural death.

The lat­est direc­tive by Rajesh Gopal, member-​secretary of NTCA, fol­lows after a recent spurt in tiger poach­ing cases, spe­cially in Chan­dra­pur dis­trict of Maha­rash­tra. The NTCA move is seen as an effort to make the states take every tiger death seri­ously and fol­low the pro­to­col to ascer­tain the exact cause of death.

In the six months since Novem­ber 3, 2011, the state has lost 10 tigers, most of them to poach­ing. Sev­eral tigers have died under mys­te­ri­ous cir­cum­stances. “Maha­rash­tra has been very casual in sub­mit­ting reports about the deaths. When­ever a tiger dies, we just receive an SMS and that’s all. In all 10 tiger deaths, detailed reports includ­ing foren­sic report estab­lish­ing cause of death have still not been sub­mit­ted to us,” NTCA offi­cials told Times of India. SWH Naqvi, prin­ci­pal chief con­ser­va­tor of forests (wildlife), Maha­rash­tra, responded, “It is pos­si­ble that detailed reports have not been sent. I will check-​up. We will do what is necessary.”

To ensure proper due dili­gence and top­most pri­or­ity, every case of tiger and leop­ard death will be hence­forth treated as a case of poach­ing, unless oth­er­wise proved beyond rea­son­able doubt
(Direc­tive of NTCA’s Rajesh Gopal)
tiger chopped to pieces

The let­ter writ­ten to all the chief wildlife war­dens of states stated that if a tiger death was clas­si­fied as occur­ring due to nat­ural causes, the same should be sub­stan­ti­ated by ade­quate sup­port­ing field evi­dences and fac­tual details, while report­ing to NTCA. Any inci­dent of tiger death requires detailed field inves­ti­ga­tion vis-​a-​vis the advi­sories issued in this con­text from the author­ity. While nat­ural mor­tal­ity owing to den­sity related stress and other causes do occur in a tiger habi­tat, there is a need to estab­lish this based on cat­e­gor­i­cal evidences.

There is a need to ensure ade­quate cau­tion while clas­si­fy­ing tiger deaths as occur­ring due to ‘nat­ural’ cases
Rajesh Gopal »

The NTCA has said the area where tiger death is reported should be thor­oughly scanned to rule out metal trap and snares and evi­dence of unau­tho­rized vehic­u­lar move­ment, use of fire arms, poi­son­ing near water points, nat­ural salt licks and poi­son­ing of live­stock kills by tigers and leop­ards. Besides, any his­tory of recur­ring live­stock depre­da­tion, human death and injury due to car­ni­vores in the area should also be taken into account along with pen­dency, if any, relat­ing to pay­ment of com­pen­sa­tion and ex-​gratia in this regard. It has directed that the day-​to-​day patrolling by field staff and super­vi­sory checks at senior level should ensure pre­ven­tive actions as well as proac­tive detec­tion, rather than retroac­tive actions. This would also facil­i­tate retrieval of car­casses before their putre­fac­tion, thereby facil­i­tat­ing, foren­sic exam­i­na­tion in a laboratory.

Two pan­els to pro­tect big cats

The NTCA has con­sti­tuted two com­mit­tees for tiger con­ser­va­tion. One panel is for dis­trict plan­ning in tiger range while another for appraisal of cen­trally spon­sored scheme (CSS) in 40 tiger reserves.

The com­mit­tee for tiger range dis­tricts includes V.B. Mathur, dean, Wildlife Insti­tute of India (WII), Dehradun, M. Firoz Ahmed, mem­ber, NTCA, Dr Biswa­jit Baner­jee from Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, A.K. Shri­vas­tava, direc­tor of min­istry of tribal affairs, R. Sun­daraju and B.K. Pat­naik, retired chief wildlife war­den of Tamil Nadu and Uttar Pradesh respec­tively, S. Dhena and Thi­la­gara­jan U, both social work­ers, and S.P. Yadav, DIG of NTCA.

NTCA sources said the team would sug­gest a process for fac­tor­ing in tiger con­cerns in the dis­trict plan­ning in tiger range dis­tricts. It will come out with generic pre­scrip­tions vis-​a-​vis the 2010 coun­try level tiger esti­ma­tion for dis­trict plan for main­stream­ing tiger con­ser­va­tion in each dis­trict. “Four regional sen­si­ti­za­tion work­shops for stake­hold­ers and line depart­ments will be orga­nized. The panel will sub­mit its report in six months,” sources said.

NTCA, which releases big sums of money for tiger con­ser­va­tion, has also con­sti­tuted five appraisal teams for the CSS. The tiger reserves have been clas­si­fied into five land­scape com­plex. Of these, the Cen­tral Indian land­scape (Tadoba, Pench, Mel­ghat, Rantham­bore, Sariska) will include ex-​PCCF DNS Suman, NTCA mem­ber Prakash Amte, social worker D. Krish­na­murthy and AIG San­jay Kumar. The team will ver­ify whether the CSS money is being used prop­erly and sug­gest improvements.

The above news item is reprinted from mate­ri­als avail­able at Times of India. Orig­i­nal text may be edited for con­tent and length.

(Source: Times of India, 31.05.2012)

UN Biodiversity decade
WWF Stop Wildlife Crime
Fight for Flight campaign
End Ivory-funded Terrorism
Support Rewilding Europe
NASA State of Flux

Goal: 7000 tigers in the wild

Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

about zoos and their mis­sion regard­ing breed­ing endan­gered species, nature con­ser­va­tion, bio­di­ver­sity and edu­ca­tion, which of course relates to the evo­lu­tion of species.
Fol­low me on: