Strategy for Protection and Communication
Based on the analyses of the crime data of a last decade or so, the recent phenomena of Tigers straying into Human dominated Landscape and the accumulated experiences of the front-line staff in dealing with the threats of Poaching of Tigers, localized threats posed by the tribal hadies and the villages abutting the Reserve mainly targeting the herbivores, the Wild boars and accidental deaths of the Tiger/Leopard due to snaring; the forest offences involving the smuggling of Timber, Illegal collection of NTFP, Illegal Grazing, Fuel wood collection and the accidental deaths on the two National Highways, the strategies to deal with these threats are
Anti-Poaching & Human Wildlife Conflict
Specifically targeting the protection of Tiger in particular and to address effectively the Human-Wildlife Conflict, the entire length of the Reserve over a stretch of 220.00 Kms abutting the human dominated landscape on the North and North Western side of the Reserve covering the border areas of Gundre, N. Begur, Moliyur, Hediyala, Omkara, Maddur, G.S. Betta, Bandipur and Kundukere Ranges has been secured by the formation and maintenance of border service road network, Establishment of 20 Solar Sheds and fairly effective barriers in the form of Elephant Proof Trenches and the Solar Powered Fencing. Further, strengthening and intensifying the protection efforts, the following measures are in place.
The entire 220 Km stretch is divided into highly vulnerable area i.e. the stretch from the Northern side starting from Gundre Range to Hediyala Range. In order to effectively patrol this area, two teams each consisting of 10-15 personnel of the Special Tiger Protection Force are stationed at N. Begur and Chikkabargi. The team stationed at N.Begur range conduct the foot patrolling/Jeep patrolling at least four days in a week in association and co-ordination with the beat guards, forest watchers and the Anti-poaching camp staff covering the border areas of Gundre and N. Begur. Similarly, the team stationed at Chikkabargi along with the frontline staff will carry out this operation over the stretch in the Ranges of Moliyur and Hediyala. On weekly basis, the observations such as sighting of a Tiger, Sign of Tiger presence like Pugmark, Scat, Presence of Snares, illegal movement of suspected persons, illegal collection of NTFP etc. will be collated and analysed. Accordingly, suitable modifications in the patrolling be effected.
During the Monsoon, in addition to the regular patrolling by the Anti-poaching Camp staff, the Elephant back patrolling in the vulnerable areas along the border of Tamil Nadu and Kerala will be carried out. Temporary Elephant camps will be stationed at Chammanahalla in Moolehole Range, Kadubinakatte Anti-poaching camp in N. Begur Range, Nayihalla Anti-Poaching camp in Gundre Range and the permanent Elephant Camp at Ramapur in A.M. Gudi Range. The patrolling on the Elephant back will be organised and co-ordinated by the Assistant Conservator of Forests, Hediyala Sub-division. The observations and the effectiveness of this effort will be analysed on a weekly basis and suitable timely modification/changes to be put in place.
The Assistant Conservator of Forests of the Sub-division based on the information available and the critical period between November to April overlapping with the fire season will organise and supervise the night patrolling in the border areas. Suitable timely modifications be worked out at the field level by the managers involving the Deputy Director/Assistant Director/Range Forest Officers and the Assistant Conservator of Forests of the Special Tiger Protection Force.
All round the year, patrolling by boat though is in place in the backwater areas of Kabini & Nugu Reservoir, the same is to be strengthened by increasing the number of boat patrolling parties at least by two more. Vulnerable spots are to be identified based on the past crime/offence data and suitable measures to be put in place.
The State has been more than proactive and seized this opportunity provided by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and has fully put in place the Special Tiger Protection Force. The State vide its order No. FEE 387 FFS 2009, Bangalore Dated 10-05-2010 & letter No. FEE 382 FFS 2010, Dated 24/25-06-2011 have sanctioned 112 posts under Option – II comprising of Assistant Conservator of Forests, Range Forest Officers, Deputy Range Forest Officers, Forest Guards & Forest Watchers. All the recruited personnel of this elite Force have undergone the induction Forestry training and in addition about 54 personnel have also undergone the 13 weeks Training Module at the Armed Police Training School, Yelahanka as prescribed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority, New Delhi. Further, as mandated by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the provisions made under the Cadre & Recruitment Rules, all the 27 Forest Watchers have been recruited from the Scheduled tribe community dwelling in and around the Tiger Reserve.
The structure of this elite force is as follows – A company headed by an Assistant Conservator of Forests, reporting directly to the Field Director of the Tiger Reserve is headquartered at Hand Post of H.D. Kote Taluk which is strategically located between the two Tiger Reserves of Bandipur and Nagarahole. The three platoons of the company each headed by a Range Forest officer are deployed at Melukamanahalli (Bandipur Tiger Reserve),