Monday, July 31, 2017

ZSI and IUCN comes together for tiger conservation in Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary

| | Jul 20, 2017, 10:23 PM ISTDEHRADUN: Following their successful collaboration on a project aimed at conservation of lions at the Gir Forest National Park in Gujarat, the Zoological Society of London (ZSI) and International union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) are coming together for the second time in another venture aimed at protection of tigers in the Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary (NWLS) in Kumaon. The project, with a total estimated funding of six million euros (Rs 45 crore), will be undertaken with the assistance of Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the Uttarakhand forest department. It will attempt measures at tiger protection, monitoring, habitat improvement and capacity building.

According to last year’s data, the tiger population of NWLS was recorded at 25. Spread over an area of 270 square kilometer, the NWLS was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 2012. It is also part of the Terai Arc landscape, which extends from Himachal Pradesh to Nepal, and has a high density of tigers.

Chief wildlife warden DVS Khati said, “A meeting was recently held in London between ZSI and IUCN officials and WII and state forest department staff. ZSI and IUCN, which has been working on projects related to tiger conservation in Nepal, were keen to work in Nandhaur sanctuary too, which shares the Terai landscape with neighbouring Nepal.”

“Nandhaur has shown significant increase in tiger numbers but it has not been included in the Project Tiger venture. The National Tiger Conservation Authority’s proposal to the state government to declare it as a tiger reserve has also not been approved for the past two years,” added Khati.

Director of NWLS Chander Shekhar Sanwal said, “Nandhaur is rich in flora and fauna. It also has a healthy elephant population and is part of the Shivalik Elephant Reserve. But we lack manpower and other resources to ensure protection of wildlife and oversee management of the part. Through this project, we will hopefully be able to give enhanced protection to the tigers and other wild species.”

Meanwhile, dean of WII, G S Rawat, said, “We will help ZSI and IUCN in all aspects of the project. We will train our forest staff to conduct tiger monitoring too. Veterinarians will also be employed.”

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