Tiger reserves in Maoist areas ailing, says report

July 28th, 2011 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, July 28 (IANS) Five tiger reserves in the country which fall in the Maoist-affected “Red Corridor” are suffering from a lack of effective management and poor morale among the staff because of the Left-wing violence in the area, a report said Thursday.

“There are five tiger reserves in the Red Corridor and it is very difficult to effectively manage them because of Naxalism. There is no timely release of funds to these reserves and the morale of the staff is very low,” Vinod B. Mathur of the Wildlife Institute of India said.

He was speaking at the release of a report on measuring effectiveness of tiger reserves’ management in India. Management Effectiveness Evaluation (MEE) is the assessment of how well protected areas, such national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, are being managed.

The five tiger reserves in the maoist-affected area are Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam in Andhra Pradesh, Simlipal tiger reserve in Orissa, Indravati and Udanti-Sitanadi in Chhattisgarh, and Palamu tiger reserve in Jharkhand.

The MEE process categorised the Nagarjunsagar-Srisailam reserve management as good, and of Simlipal tiger reserve as satisfactory.

However Indravati, Udanti-Sitanadi, Palamu tiger reserve have been categorised in the poor management category.

“Special measures are required to deal with the situation in the Red Corridor tiger reserves. The morale of the staff is very low, so maybe there should be some insurance cover for them,” Mathur said.

Calling it a “daunting task”, newly appointeed Minister of Environment and Forests Jayanthi Natarajan said: “Better protection is required for the five tiger reserves located in the Red Corridor. All sections of the society should cooperate with us and support our forest and field staff.”

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in partnership with the Wildlife Institute of India undertook an independent MEE of all the 39 tiger reserves of the country between June 2010 to July 2011 and compiled the report.

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