GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change
UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 2437
ANSWERED ON MARCH 19, 2015
Steps Taken for Preservation of Tigers in Karnataka
2437. SHRI RAJEEV CHANDRASEKHAR
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT, FORESTS AND CLIMATE CHANGE be pleased to state;
(a) considering the fact that the number of tigers have increased in India and State of Karnataka top this list, the steps Government is taking to ensure preservation of tigers; and
(b) whether it is a fact that Ministry has approached the State Government of Karnataka to develop and declare more tiger reserves in the State where the number of tigers is highest in the country, at Kudremukh, Cauvery basin and MM Hills region etc. and if so, the details thereof ?
MINISTER OF STATE (INDEPENDENT CHARGE) FOR
ENVIRONMENT, FOREST AND CLIMATE CHANGE
(SHRI PRAKASH JAVADEKAR)
(a): The Government of India has taken several milestone initiatives for conservation and protection of wild animals including tiger, in the country, interalia, including the State of Karnataka and the details are at Annexure-I.
(b): Yes Sir. Final approval has been accorded to Kudremukh National Park (Karnataka) for declaring as a tiger reserve by the State. Besides this, the State Government of Karnataka has also been advised to send proposals for declaring the Cauveri-MM Hills Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve.
ANNEXURE – I
ANNEXURE REFERRED TO IN REPLY TO PART (a) OF THE RAJYA SABHA UNSTARRED QUESTION NO. 2437 ON STEPS TAKEN FOR PRESERVATION OF TIGERS IN KARNATAKA DUE FOR REPLY ON 19.03.2015.
Several milestone initiatives for conservation and protection of wild animals including tiger, in the country
- Amendment of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 in 2006 to provide enabling provisions for constituting the National Tiger Conservation Authority under section 38 IV B and the Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau under section 38 IV C.
- Enhancement of punishment for offence in relation to the core area of a tiger reserve or where the offence relate to hunting in the tiger reserves or altering the boundaries of tiger reserves, etc.Administrative steps
- Strengthening of anti-poaching activities, including special strategy for monsoon patrolling, by providing funding support to tiger reserve States, as proposed by them, for deployment of anti-poaching squads involving ex-army personnel or home guards, apart from workforce comprising of local people, in addition to strengthening of communication and wireless facilities.
- Constitution of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) with effect from the 4th September, 2006, for strengthening tiger conservation by, interalia, ensuring normative standards in tiger reserve management, preparation of reserve specific tiger conservation plan, laying down annual audit report before Parliament, constituting State level Steering Committees under the Chairmanship of Chief Ministers and establishment of Tiger Conservation Foundation.
- Constitution of a multidisciplinary Tiger and Other Endangered Species Crime Control Bureau (Wildlife Crime Control Bureau) with effect from the 6thJune, 2007 to effectively control illegal trade in wildlife.
- The in-principle approval has been accorded by the National Tiger Conservation Authority for creation of three new tiger reserves, and the sites are: Ratapani (Madhya Pradesh), Sunabeda (Odisha) and Guru Ghasidas (Chhattisgarh). Final approval has been accorded to Kudremukh (Karnataka) and Rajaji (Uttarakhand) for declaring as a tiger reserve by States. The State Governments have been advised to send proposals for declaring the following areas as tiger reserves: (i) Suhelwa (Uttar Pradesh), (ii) Mhadei Sanctuary (Goa), (iii) Srivilliputhur Grizzled Giant Squirrel / Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuaries / Varushanadu Valley (Tamil Nadu), (iv) Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary (Arunachal Pradesh) and (v) Cauveri-MM Hills (Karnataka).
- The revised Project Tiger guidelines have been issued to State Governments for strengthening tiger conservation, which apart from ongoing activities, inter alia, include financial support to States for enhanced village relocation or rehabilitation package for people living in core or critical tiger habitats (from Rs. 1 lakh per family to Rs. 10 lakhs per family), rehabilitation or resettlement of communities involved in traditional hunting, mainstreaming livelihood and wildlife concerns in forests outside tiger reserves and fostering corridor conservation through restorative strategy to arrest habitat fragmentation.
- A scientific methodology for estimating tiger (including co-predators, prey animals and assessment of habitat status) has been evolved and mainstreamed. The findings of this estimation and assessment are bench marks for future tiger conservation strategy.
- The 18 tiger States have notified the core/critical tiger habitat (38770.30 sq. km.), and the buffer/peripheral area (29906.17 sq.km.) of all the 47 tiger reserves in the country, under section 38V of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, as amended in 2006.
- Regional Offices of the National Tiger Conservation Authority are operational at Nagpur, Bengaluru and Guwahati headed by an Inspector General of Forests.Financial steps
- Financial and technical help is provided to the State Governments under various Centrally Sponsored Schemes, such as Project Tiger and Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats for enhancing the capacity and infrastructure of the State Governments for providing effective protection to wild animals.International Cooperation
- India has a bilateral understanding with Nepal on controlling trans-boundary illegal trade in wildlife and conservation, apart from a protocol on tiger conservation with China.
- A protocol has been signed in September, 2011 with Bangladesh for conservation of the Royal Bengal Tiger of the Sunderban.
- A sub-group on tiger and leopard conservation has been constituted for cooperation with the Russian Federation.
- India is the founder member of the Global Tiger Forum of Tiger Range Countries for addressing international issues related to tiger conservation.
- During the 14thmeeting of the Conference of Parties to CITES, which was held from 3rdto 15thJune, 2007 at The Hague, India introduced a resolution along with China, Nepal and the Russian Federation, with direction to Parties with operations breeding tigers on a commercial scale, for restricting such captive populations to a level supportive only to conserving wild tigers. The resolution was adopted as a decision with minor amendments. Further, India made an intervention appealing to China to phase out tiger farming and eliminate stockpiles of Asian bigcats body parts and derivatives. The importance of continuing the ban on trade of body parts of tigers was emphasized.
- Based on India’s strong intervention during the 62ndmeeting of the Standing Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) at Geneva from 23-27 July, 2012, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Secretariat has issued a notification No. 2012/054 dated the 3rdSeptember, 2012 to Parties to fully implement Decision 14.69 and report to the Secretariat by 25 September, 2012 (Progress made on restricting captive breeding operations of tigers etc.).
- As a part of active management to rebuild Sariska and Panna Tiger Reserves where tigers have become locally extinct, reintroduction of tigers and tigresses have been done. The successful reintroduction of wild tigers in Sariska is a unique exercise and is the first of its kind in the world. The reintroduced tigresses are breeding. The tiger reintroduction initiative at Panna (MP) has also been very successful.
- Special advisories issued for in-situ buildup of prey base and tiger population through active management in tiger reserves having low population status of tiger and its prey.Creation of Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF)
- The Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) has been made operational in the States of Karnataka (Bandipur), Maharashtra (Pench and Tadoba-Andhari) and Odisha (Similipal), with 100% central assistance under the ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger. In-principle approval has been accorded for creation of the said force in Nawegoan-Nagzira, Melghat (Maharashtra), Kawal and Amrabad (erstwhile Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve portion) Tiger Reserves (Telangana).
- In collaboration with TRAFFIC-INDIA, an online tiger crime data base has been launched, and Generic Guidelines for preparation of reserve specific Security Plan has been evolved.
- Implementing a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with tiger States, linked to fund flows for effective implementation of tiger conservation initiatives.
- Steps taken for modernizing the infrastructure and field protection, besides launching ‘Monitoring system for Tigers’ Intensive Protection and Ecological Status (M-STrIPES)’ for effective field patrolling and monitoring.
- Steps taken for no-cost involvement of Non-Governmental Experts in the all India tiger estimation.
- Initiatives taken for improving the field delivery through capacity building of field officials, apart from providing incentives.
- The third round of country level tiger status assessment completed in 2014, with the findings indicating an increase with a tiger population estimate of 2226, lower and upper limits being 1945 and 2491 respectively, as compared to the last country level estimation of 2010, with an estimate of 1706 (lower and upper limits being 1520-1909 tigers), and 2006 estimation, with an estimate of 1411 (lower and upper limits being 1165 and 1657). At present, India has around 70% of tiger population and its source areas amongst the 13 tiger range countries in the world, owing to its long history of conserving the species through Project Tiger (2.06% of country’s geographical area spread out in 47 tiger reserves in 18 States).
- A report on Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of Tiger Reserves was released on January, 2015, containing the third round of independent assessment based on refined criteria done in 2013-14 for 43 tiger reserves. Out of 43 tiger reserves, 17 were rated as ‘very good’, 16 as ‘good’ and 10 as ‘fair’.
- Providing special assistance for mitigation of human-tiger conflicts in problematic areas.
- A ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ for dealing with tiger deaths has been issued, based on advisories of Project Tiger / National Tiger Conservation Authority, with inputs from Wildlife Crime Control Bureau, State officials and experts, fine-tuned to meet the present challenges.
- A ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ for dealing with straying tigers in human dominated landscape has been issued.
- A ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ for disposing tiger/leopard carcass/body parts has been issued.
- A Standard Operating Procedure has been issued to deal with orphaned / abandoned tiger cubs and old / injured tigers in the wild.
- A ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ has been issued to deal with tiger depredation on livestock.
- A ‘Standard Operating Procedure’ has been issued for active management towards rehabilitation of tigers from source areas at landscape level.
- Launching of Phase-IV tiger reserve level, continuous monitoring of tigers using camera traps and building up data on photo captures of individual tigers.
- Launching the creation of a national repository of camera trap photo IDs of individual tigers.
- In-principle approval for use of CAMPA funds towards village relocation from core areas.
- Completion of e-surveillance project in Corbett Tiger Reserve (Uttarakhand). Central assistance (100%) has been provided for installing 24X7 e-surveillance at Kaziranga Tiger Reserve (Assam) and fringe of Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary (Madhya Pradesh).
- Comprehensive guidelines under section 38O 1 (c) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 issued for Project Tiger and Tourism in Tiger Reserves on 15th October, 2012.
- Under active management, permission accorded for translocation of wilded / straying tigers / tigresses from high to low density reserves within States.
- A bilateral arrangement exists on tiger / wildlife conservation with Bangladesh, Nepal, and China. A sub-group on tiger/leopard conservation has been constituted for cooperation with the Russian Federation.
- Field level workshops for capacity building of field officers to deal with straying tigers.
- NTCA teams sent for field appraisal of tiger deaths / Project Tiger implementation.
- Kawal (Telangana), Sathyamangalam (Tamil Nadu), Mukandra Hills (Rajasthan), Nawegaon-Nagzira (Maharashtra), Amrabad (erstwhile Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve portion) (Telangana), Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh) and Bor (Maharashtra) have been notified by the State Governments as Tiger Reserves.
- Economic Valuation of six tiger reserves done in collaboration with the Indian Institute of Forest Management.
- Trial of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle for monitoring done in the Panna Tiger Reserve (Madhya Pradesh), in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India.
- Assessment of Status, Density and Change in Forest Cover in and around tiger reserves of the Shivalik Gangetic Plain Landscape done in collaboration with the Forest Survey of India.
- A Rhino Task Force has been created for suggesting measures to strengthen rhino protection in the Kaziranga Tiger Reserve.
- In-principle approval has been accorded for creation of Rhino Protection Force at Kaziranga Tiger Reserve.
- Supporting a health insurance scheme for forest guards in Kaziranga Tiger Reserve.
- Fostering a voluntary group “Friends for Rhino” for eliciting public support for rhino conservation with active local participation around Kaziranga Tiger Reserve.
- Ascertaining progress of CBI investigation in rhino poaching cases handed over by the State of Assam.
- Real Time Monitoring of funds released to Kaziranga Tiger Reserve from the Centre.
- Initiative taken for collaboration with National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA) towards evolving an alert system in tiger reserves prone to natural disasters.
- A joint report with Nepal has been brought out on the assessment of tiger status in the terai arc landscape.
- Initiative taken for collaboration of National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Crime Control Bureau towards an online tiger / wildlife crime tracking / reporting system in tiger reserves.