Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve’s strategy to prevent poachers from neighbouring State

Officials of the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) in Erode district of Tamil Nadu are in the process of preparing a problem profile for each range.
At present, the STR has five Ranges – Bhavani Sagar, Hasanoor, Sathyamangalam, Thalavadi, T.N. Palayam. Of the five ranges, three are sharing the inter-State border with Karnataka, where the issues relating to poaching have to be monitored and controlled.

Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding has started work on 60 hectares in Andamans

With several plantations likely to end their leases in the coming years, scientists are thinking ahead of means to convert them into natural forests.
Coimbatore-based Institute of Forest Genetics and Tree Breeding (IFGTB) has launched a project on a 60-hectare extent in the Andamans and it is in the process of successfully converting the teak and padauk plantations into near natural forests.

The appearance of unauthorised sheds in Kongahalli, a village in the Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, has shocked naturalists and environmentalists.

The sheds were constructed for the benefit of pilgrims visiting the Mallikarjuna Swamy temple. K. Mohan Raj of the Tamil Nadu Green Movement (TNGM) said five years ago there were only a few sheds. “Every year, the temple authorities as well as the local panchayats without obtaining permission from the Forest officials have constructed the sheds illegally. At present, there are 20 sheds,” he said.

Incidence of wildlife poaching is on the rise in the southern States, said Ravi P. Singh, Secretary-General of World Wide Fund for Nature – India (WWF-I).

Mr. Singh who was here recently told The Hindu that poaching of leopards in the southern States has increased. Since 2000, the Traffic, a wing of the WWF-I, had gathered data on seizure of leopard skins, which showed an alarming increase.

Fishermen’s catch will go down drastically: ZSI Director

A drastic decline in the live coral cover in Lakshadweep has been reported, causing serious concern among researchers and naturalists. K. Venkataraman, Director, Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), told The Hindu that the development came to light recently during a study.

Carbon credit system paying rich dividends to farmers too

In a silent afforestation campaign, a private company has successfully raised more than a million trees on private lands in five districts in the State and recorded a survival rate of 90 per cent. Giving details to The Hindu about the successful planting of saplings and raising them to trees, A. Joseph Rexon, Director, TIST Tree Planting India programme, said it was started in Kancheepuram district with six farmers in 2003.

A recent study taken up by a team of researchers from the Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), Chennai, brought to light the serious threat of extinction the coral reef colonies and mangrove forests in the Palk Bay are facing. At present, only two per cent of the coral reefs survive in the area.

Global warming, siltation, release of untreated raw sewage into the water bodies and overgrowth of algae were stated to be the three important reasons for the possible disappearance of coral colonies and its associated organisms from the Palk Bay area.

A high-level committee, comprising officials of the Forest, Agriculture and Revenue Departments, constituted to examine the issues under the provisions of Tamil Nadu Preservation of Private Forests (TNPPF) Act 1949, will submit its report to the government by April.

Forest Department sources said the committee headed by an officer in the rank of Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Forest Conservation Act) visited 11 districts in the State and recorded the grievances of private patta holders.

Thanks to the efforts of NGOs and State Forest Department

The population of vultures, a critically endangered species, is stabilising in the Moyar Valley in The Nilgiris North Forest Division in the State, thanks to the efforts of non-governmental organisations and the State Forest Department. S. Bharatidasan, Director, CareEarth Arulagam, the non-governmental organisation involved in the vulture conservation in the Moyar Valley, told The Hindu that through systematic protection measures the number of the forest scavengers’ nests had increased to 50 in January this year. Similarly, the number of vultures sighted also had also gone up.

Non-planting of saplings along national highways in the State after uprooting several old trees for taking up road widening projects has come to light through a petition filed under the Right to Information Act by tree lovers.

Answering a set of questions from a Salem-based resident, officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) have replied that a total of 7,214 trees were uprooted for four-laning project on NH 68 in Salem alone.