Darting, death of tigress irk NTCA

Darting, death of tigress irk NTCA

 The darting of a tigress at the Nagarahole Tiger Reserve (NTR) on Monday night, after which she died, has not gone down well with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

Forest department sources told DH that NTCA member secretary Bhishan Singh Bonal, on Wednesday, called up NTR director Manikandan and sought a detailed report on the issue. NTCA officials are agitated as they were not informed of this, despite having a regional office in Bengaluru.

Due to pressure from local residents, higher-ups in the department issued orders to capture and relocate a breeding female. The officials are not sure if the one they captured had cubs or not. This shows laxity on the part of the department, NTCA officials are said to have told the director.

The department has started a probe into the death of the tigress. It is analysing the camera-trap details of the tigress. They are also searching for the tigress with two cubs to substantiate their claim that there were two problematic tigresses.

Camera-trap details of the tigress from Wildlife Conservation Society-India (WCS), Centre for Wildlife Studies, have identified the tigress as NHT-L114. “Based on the size, physical appearance and photo data, the tigress is presumed to be 10 years old,” said WCS director K Ullas Karanth.

WCS has also identified the tiger which was darted and captured on January 12 near Nugu reservoir in Moliyar range, Bandipur Tiger Reserve by the forest staff. The male, identified as NHT- 233, died on January 13. He was 10 to 12 years old. “Bandipur-Nagarahole has a high tiger population density of 10  to 15 per 100 sq km.

It appears that NHT-233 was evicted from its territory, possibly following a fight or some other injury due to natural violence. The quick action by the Forest department to capture the tiger before it could come into conflict with forest-edge communities is commendable,” Karanth said.

Team begins probe

A team of officials from the forest department visited the spot where a tigress died of tranquiliser overdose on Monday midnight in Nagarahole Tiger reserve, reports DHNS from Mysuru.The probe team comprises Additional Chief Conservator of Forest Jayaramu, Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Vigilance Squad) Rangarao and Chief of Wildlife Institute of India, John Singh.