Arunachal: In a first, NTCA meets outside of New Delhi, at Pakke

The top brass of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), for the first time in its history, met outside New Delhi on Saturday at the Pakke Tiger Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh, home to some of the rarest species of flora and fauna.

The meeting was held under the chairmanship of Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change Bhupender Yadav.

The Union Minister has directed that henceforth these meetings will be held outside Delhi in forest areas or in tiger reserves to get first-hand information about tiger reserve, local issues and others.

The Minister pressed on active involvement of locals for conservation and better development of forest areas and tiger reserves. He stressed on the need for all-stakeholder meetings, including forest officials who deal with different issues, local villagers, experts and students.

On the occasion, around 100 airguns were surrendered by local villagers. “Rampant use of air gun was a problem in northeastern states. Arunachal Pradesh, in March 2021, started the Air Gun Surrender Abhiyaan which has so far yielded great results,” the minister said.

He urged all state governments to take up the Airgun surrender Abhiyan like Arunachal Pradesh.

“Arunachal offers a model to emulate with programmes like Hornbill Nest Adoption and Air Gun Surrender Abhiyan,” he said.

The Minister released standard operating procedure for tiger reintroduction and supplementation in wild , forest fire audit protocol for tiger reserves , technical manual on MEE of Tiger reserves in India prepared by NTCA.

India harbors about 70% of the world’s tiger population in wild. The tigers occupy different landscapes in the country. “While some landscapes have rich and viable populations in accordance with the habitat and prey-base, there are some habitats that are under occupied for various regions but have potential to support better tiger population. There may be some more habitats where the population of tiger have disappeared,” he said.

He said it sometimes becomes imperative to re-introduce tigers or supplement the existing population.

“This being a sensitive and technical task, the NTCA has prepared a Standard Operating Protocol (SOP) to deal with the reintroduction and supplementation. The SOP takes into account, the scientific knowledge available on the subject as well as conditions that may be typical to India. To deal with tiger reintroduction and supplementation in the wild in areas where it was historically present but is now being extirpated or found in low densities viz-a-viz the carrying capacity, due to various reasons but welfare factors to foster tiger presence still exists or can be improved with adequate management intervention,” he said.

The minister released standard operating procedure for tiger reintroduction and supplementation in wild, forest fire audit protocol for tiger reserves , technical manual on MEE of Tiger reserves in India prepared by NTCA.

The forest fire audit protocol for tiger reserves to help the tiger reserve managers assess their fire preparedness and manage complete life cycle of forest fires.

“Fire can play a vital role in healthy forests, recycling nutrients, helping tree species regenerate, removing invasive weeds and pathogens and maintaining habitat for some wildlife. Occasional fires can keep down the fuel loads that feed larger, more destructive conflagration,” he said.

He said as populations and demands on forest resources have grown, cycle of fire has spun out of the balance and these uncontrolled and repeated fires at short succession are one of the major causes behind forest degradation and biodiversity loss.

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