Rising number of tigers covers double forest beat area

Bhopal. The International Tiger Day has brought happiness this year in Madhya Pradesh. Figures in the first phase of the All India Tiger Assessment 2018 indicate towards a handsome increase in the number of tigers. In the assessment of the first phase of the year 2014, the presence of 308 tigers was found in the state's 717 forest beat. Against this, there is evidence of the presence of tigers has been found in 1432 beats in four cycles held from February 5 to March 26 in year 2018. A tiger makes its own independent territory. With the rise in the number of tigers, the adolescent tigers have started turning into new areas. Shifting of tigers in Sanjay Gandhi, Panna, Satpura Tiger Reserve etc. from the tiger- dominated areas of the forest department have also resulted in new pairs instead of their mutual fight for establishing supremacy in area. Apart from the Forest Department citizens and non-governmental organizations have also contributed directly or indirectly in wildlife conservation.

During the All India Tiger Assessment, figures have been collected in about-30 thousand beats of 21 states in India in Phase-1. Of these, Madhya Pradesh alone has 9 thousand beats. Its preparation in the state had started almost a year ago in February 2017. Master trainers have been trained in each zone dividing the state into seven zones. While training three master trainers each from each forest circle, 250 master trainers have been made in the entire state. Mock exercises and training were done in many stages before the tiger assessment. This time the use of social media has also been included in the exchange of instant information in the census. Preparations for about one year have begun to show positive results. 

The state government has increased compensation in cases of loss of life and injury caused by wild animals. An amount of Rs. 4 lakhs is now given in case of loss of life by wild animals and tiger etc. Earlier there was no provision of compensation for cases of injuries caused by animals. Now provision has been made for compensation in such cases. In addition to the treatment in the hospital, the injured person is provided Rs 500 per day. The inclusion of loss of life, public-injury and animal- injury in the Public Services Guarantee Act 2010 has also proved to be a significant step.

For this, the Forest Department has not only shifted herbivores to the Tiger Reserve of the state from densely populated areas but has also started production of grass through scientific management in the villages vacated in the Tiger Reserve. The number of herbivores has increased greatly as they are getting nutritious meal and grass and the tigers in the Tiger Reserve are also getting adequate food. Wild animals abound in forest areas in the Tiger Reserve and outside of the state. A corridor is being developed to connect the reserved areas of wild animals. The state government has set a special budget head to manage wild animals. Fund is being made available for wildlife management outside protected areas.

With the rise in industrialization and population growth in the state, the number of wild animals in the state is also increasing steadily. This has led to the occurrence of human-wildlife conflict. For this a wildlife rescue squad has been established in the state to deal with them. The 15 Regional Rescue Squad working in the state has played a major role in avoiding human-wildlife conflicts over the years. Many times, in such odd circumstances, the Squad has saved both the wildlife and citizens.

Villages have been rehabilitated from Tiger Reserve areas. An amount of more than Rs.1000 crores has been made available to the rehabilitated villagers. This has increased the security of tigers and the villagers have been able to connect with the main stream of development.

The STF team established by the Forest Department has an important role in the security of tigers. The STF has left no stone unturned in catching wildlife offenders in the past years, punishing them through the court and destroying the wildlife crime system. The works of STF has acquired recognition in the international level. Organizations like Interpol has also appreciated the works of the Forest STF team of Madhya Pradesh.Awareness programmes related to protection of tigers are being run by the Madhya Pradesh Tiger Foundation Society and Madhya Pradesh Eco Tourism Board.
The participation of a large number of children in programmes has set innovative sensitivity and proximity with forests and wildlife. The sources of income are also being increased by connecting communities living near Tiger Reserve with various programmes.