Clear snares near forests, department tells coffee planters

Clear snares near forests, department tells coffee planters

The Forest department has directed all coffee planters in places bordering forest areas to clear snares to prevent loss of wildlife.

This comes close on the heels of the death of a six-year-old tigress after getting caught in a snare at Srimangala in Kodagu district, near Nagarahole Tiger Reserve (NTR).

Department officials held a meeting with coffee planters on Monday, directing all estate owners in a 20-km area bordering NTR and Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary to clear all snares. These snares were put up by coffee estate owners to capture straying wild boars, which they said were destroying crops.

On Tuesday, the first day of the drive to remove snares, the department seized 121 - Anechowkur-Thithimathi (31), Kallahalla-Ponnampet (23) and Nanachhi Gate-Kallahalla border (67) snares, said an official.

“We have issued a warning to estate owners to remove all snares within two months and ensure that none comes up in future,” Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (wildlife) B J Hosmath told DH.

He said boards warning locals and estate owners not to place snares will be put up.
Estate owners have been warned of stringent action against placing the snares. The action includes imprisonment and fine.

In 2010, the department had initiated a similar drive around Bandipur Tiger Reserve. The department was able to stop villagers from placing snares. Officials say the problem is more severe in Nagarahole than Bandipur, especially towards Kodagu, where there are many estates and private properties.

The population of tigers has increased in the two tiger reserves above their carrying capacity. This has resulted in tigers, especially those with cubs, coming to the fringes of the forest in search of food. The straying animals are more vulnerable to conflicts and deaths.

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