Forest dept to instal its own cameras

Piqued with NGOs refusing to share captured data, the State forest department has decided to go on its own to install cameras in the national parks and tiger reserves. 

The department, it is learnt, has purchased 100 scout guard cameras, each costing Rs 15,000, with stands and theft-proof boxes, to be installed in Bandipur Tiger Reserve, which will begin in the April first week. 

The government’s permission has been sought, following the announcement of elections. Citing instances of Non- Government Organisations refusing to provide data to the department despite requests, after obtaining permission to instal cameras, an official said the same, however, are shared with media and international organisations for grants. 

According to the official, installation of cameras are imperative as, on several occasions, department field staff sight rare species while patrolling, but are unable to document them for further study. Hence, the department does not want to depend on any organisation and instal its own cameras, he added. 

Centre for Wildlife Studies  Director K Ullas Karanth, however, countered stating they have been sharing data for the last 20 years. Likewise, NCFP Scientist Sanjay Gubbi said data is shared with forest department on camera trapping, GIS, radio collaring and other aspects.

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