Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve
NH THROUGH STR
What’s in news?
Concern over the national highway running through the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) and the resultant roadkills.
- The report of the 4th Cycle of Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) of Tiger Reserves in India 2018 expresses concern over the national highway running through the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) and the resultant roadkills.
- The report, released on International Tiger Day at New Delhi, has listed out the strengths and weaknesses of the STR management, apart from suggesting immediate actionable points for efficient management.
- STR, the largest wildlife sanctuary in the State consists of;
- 60 Tigers and 800 Elephants – As Endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
- 111 Leopards – As vulnerable.
- 4 species of vultures – As Critically Endangered.
Following are the concerns mentioned in the report;
- The 20-km highway with 27 sharp hairpin bends runs through the core area of the park and roadkills are frequent on the stretch.
- Presence of invasive species such as Lantana, Prosopis, Eupatorium, Parthenium and Senna extensively, particularly Lantana on 25,000 hectare and Prosopis on 7,000 hectares along the banks of River Moyar is a major concern.
- Man-Animal conflicts are raising due to;
- Out of 9 temples in the core areas, 5 temples attract majority of tourists.
- The conflict was occurred frequently near border villages of Bhavani Sagar, Talavadi and Kadambur, while large number of cattle kills is reported from Talavadi Range.
- About 40% to 60% of the forest guard and forest watcher posts are still vacant, which is seen as a major weakness in the STR management.
- Eco-development committees in the fringe villages were encouraging and the association of NGOs in vulture conservation was encouraging.
- The core and buffer areas were under the unified administrative control of the Field Director.
To mitigate the concerns mentioned in the report
- Allocation of more funds to prevent human-elephant conflicts
- Filling up of existing vacancies
- Removal of invasive species and
- Action to be taken to get approval for the Tiger Conservation Plan (TCP) pending with the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife).
A buffer zone is a area, mostly bordering the whole reserve, which contains less animal density. In buffer zones, the human activity exists due to which most animals leave those areas.
A core zone is area which is surrounded by buffer zones and has high animal density. In most Reserves in India, tourist activities are banned in core areas for maintaining no disturbances to animals.
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