Drones, camera traps to keep vigil at Bandipur forest

Drones, camera traps to keep vigil at Bandipur forest

For no fires

A camera trap fixed on a tree at Bandipur, Chamarajanagar district.

The Forest department, which was widely criticised due to the massive wildfire that broke out in various locations across Bandipur National Park and Tiger Reserve in February last year, has sought the help of latest technology to prevent recurrence of such incidents.

Accordingly, they have decided to use drone cameras and instal camera traps to keep tabs on the movement of miscreants in the forest as last year’s fire was termed as man-made and due to bad fire management techniques.

The wildfire had destroyed vegetation at Kundukere, Madduru, Gopalaswamy Betta and Omkar forest ranges. Hence, the department has decided to use drone cameras to keep a vigil on the movement of humans in the forest.
The department has initiated training for the personnel in this regard. Besides, there are plans to instal more than 700 camera traps at several places.

Speaking to DH, Bandipur Tiger Project director T Balachandra said, drone cameras would help to identify miscreants entering the forests illegally. The drones would be operated when smoke is spotted to find the exact location and extent of fire.

The work on the project would start as soon as summer sets in. This will facilitate the department
to keep a vigil and stop illegal activities inside
the forest, he said.

800 watchers

The department has decided to appoint forest watchers on a temporary basis to keep a vigil on the breakout of wildfire. The appointment process has started in a few zones, he said.

“Watchers would
be appointed at 13 zones, based on the area of the forest. In all, 800 people would be provided employment. They would work in two shifts,” Balachandra said.