By Ankita Garg :
Corridor from Ratapani to Kerwa jungle has recorded movement of 18 tigers but there is no ranger to secure the range
THOUGH population of tigers has increased in Madhya Pradesh but shortage of manpower to manage and protect the predators continues in State. As per latest tiger census, Madhya Pradesh has 426 tigers but most of the reserves are facing shortage of hands to protect the big cats. Apart from Bhopal forest circle, tiger reserves and national parks of Madhya Pradesh are facing acute shortage of staff. Though the Forest Department is making several efforts to ensure safety of big cats, lack of forest rangers is making things an uphill task. Providing safety to tigers active in non-conserved areas is proving a challenge for the Forest Department. Acute shortage of rangers in Bhopal forest circle is not only affecting safety of tigers but it is also affecting the action plan.
There are more than 18 tigers active from Kerwa to Kathotiya forest range but shortage of forest rangers is putting their lives at risk. Talking to ‘The Hitavada’ Alok Kumar, Additional PCCF Wildlife said, “Tiger reserves and sanctuaries have made safety provisions for wildlife and patrolling staff is deployed everywhere. It is true that we need a few rangers in Bhopal. Seven rangers have been appointed already in Research Expansion and Public Forestry.
The list of appointees has been received and they will be deployed on duty soon.” Ajay Dubey, Secretary of ‘Prayatna’ NGO said, “During monsoon, safety provision for tigers needs to be tightened and more number of rangers, staff should be deployed to ensure safety. But MP Forest Department is already suffering from lack of staff which put the tigers at risk.”
He said, tiger reserves are not only home for tigers but also a habitat of rich biodiversity and a considerable wildlife population including big cats like leopard and herbivores like deer etc. They need conservation and protection from poachers. Experts said a natural corridor has been formed from Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary to Kerwa jungles where dozens of tigers are active along with cubs. But when it comes to the safety of big cats in the corridor, there is shortage of staff.