|A Bengal tiger|
In 2004, Rajasthan's Sariska National Park came into spotlight when the park witnessed a shocking loss of its tigers. Now recently, there appears to be a similar situation in Namdapha Tiger Reserve in northeastern India. Reports have shown that poaching has emerged, but it would be too late, if tigers are killed in a planned manner. According to Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) B.S Sajwan in October 2010, the reported decline in Namdapha's tiger population was due to human encroachment in the buffer zone by 84 families of the Lisu tribe from across the border in Burma. Although a report of an interception made by a team led by PCCF J.L Singh to the park on February this year against suspected poachers brought good news, an official report took serious exception to such activities. The Assam-based NGO Aaranyak recovered few iron Burmese traps set up along routes that have pugmarks of tigers. In addition to that, the organization had also set up eighty cameras in a 300 square kilometer area for a census, out of which eight were stolen along with 24 memory cards by poachers. This indicated that Namdapha National Park has a porous border with neighboring Burma. The reason the poachers stole the monitoring equipment was due to the trans-boundary and international ramifications, which they did not want to expose.
|A member of the Lisu tribe|
I'm shocked in a sense that based on the reports of tiger killings, Namdapha National Park could end up the same way as Sariska did eight years ago. In addition to that, the report which showed poachers having stolen cameras and memory cards set up for census indicates just how smart and sophisticated they are when carrying out their illegal deeds. Fortunately, this article also indicates that Namdapha will be receiving a visit from a high level team of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) led by Dr. Rajesh Gopal along with five other members. These include Prerna Bindra of the National Wildlife Board, who is expected to check the situation along with Dr. Gopal and others. Furthermore, the team of the National Crime Control Bureau (NCCB) will also be visiting to help the environment and forest department in dealing with such problems. However, it has not been confirmed when any of these groups are expected to arrive. But I hope it is soon, otherwise the poachers will be sure to strike again at any given time. India had earlier witnessed the loss of its local tiger population in one national park. It cannot loose another after what had happened in Sariska.
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