Pothashang News Service
Imphal, February 3, 2018: To bring Manipur on the “Tiger Map” of the country the National Tiger Conservation Authority, ministry of environment, forests and climate change and the state forest department today launched a 3-day training programme of forest field staff of the state, at state forest headquarter, Sajenthong Imphal.
The training programme is targeted to conduct at six forest divisions of the state to estimate the existence of tigers. It will be conducted for three months.
It is said the districts—Ukhrul, Senapati and Tamenglong are evident of existence of tigers which are believed to have migrated from Assam. However there is no official record of existence estimation in Manipur.
It is the first of its kind of exercise in the state being taken up by the wildlife wing of the state forest department in collaboration with the government of India.
All India tiger estimation is conducted after every four years all over the country. Manipur has been included for the first time in this exercise. There have been reports of tiger sightings/evidences in the state of Manipur in various forest divisions in the past particularly, in Tamenglong, Senapati, Ukhrul forest divisions. Therefore, government of India is very keen to take up tiger estimation in Manipur, said a press statement of the state forest department.
To prepare the staff for this extensive exercise and equip the forest department with the technology for tiger estimation, D.P. Bankhwal, inspector general of forests, NTCA (Guwahati regional office) along with scientists of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, has come up with a detailed training programme. During the training, more than 70 field staffs of all the forest divisions will be trained to collect evidences of presence of tiger in their respective jurisdictions through various techniques like Sign Survey/ Polygon Search Method, Line Transect method, MSTrIPES, camera trapping, GIS and data analysis. The exercise would also cover the collection of evidences for presence of other big carnivores and herbivores. It is a known fact that tiger is on the apex of the food chain in forest eco-system, hence its presence would indicate the good health of the habitat and availability of habitat for various co-predators and herbivores.
The wildlife wing of state forest department has planned a detailed strategy for implementation of the tiger estimation exercise in order to get a “Tiger Reserve” sanctioned for Manipur from government of India. This may go a long way for encouraging the Tiger Tourism in the state like in Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Uttrakhand, Telengana, Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu, etc.