Press Release:Current flood situation in Kaziranga Tiger Reserve (Assam) : 595 animals died - Abhishek Kadyan by nareshkadyan


									   Press Release:Current flood situation in Kaziranga Tiger Reserve

       The Kaziranga Tiger Reserve has an area of 1033, which
includes the Kaziranga National Park (859, Bura Chapori Wildlife
Sanctuary (44 and Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary (70 The
reserve is located in Nagaon, Golaghat and Sonitpur District of Assam and is
bounded by the Brahmaputra, and to the South of the Karbi Anglong
Wildlife Sanctuary. The National Highway 37 separates the reserve from
the said Sanctuary.

2.    Being located in the Brahmaputra Flood Plains, the reserve is prone to
annual floods. However, the normal flood inundation is inherent and
important aspect of the Kaziranga ecosystem to maintain the large number of
water bodies (around 175) and the floral/faunal biodiversity of the area.

3.    Dr. M. Firoz Ahmad, Member, NTCA was asked to make a spot
appraisal of Kaziranga in the wake of recent floods. The wild animal deaths
based on the said report are as below:

                             Number of     Total
             Species         death         population     % death
             Buffalo                   1              -          -
             Jackle                    1              -          -
             Elephant                  2           1165       0.17
             Hogbadger                 2              -          -
             Python                    2              -          -
             Porcupine                 5              -          -
             Swamp deer               10           1169       0.86
             Sambar                   15              -          -
             Rhino                    17           2290       0.74
             Wild boar                28
             Hog deer                512          40000       1.28
             Total                   595              -          -

4.    As per the report, most of the Rhino deaths were from the older age
group, besides calves. However, three of them have been poached. The hog
deer mortality, in particular has been reported very high (512). The report
has highlighted the need for relieving the corridor areas from human
pressure and avoiding change in land use pattern.

5.    The park management has deployed patrolling staff for the protection
of wild animals along the highways by creating barriers alongwith 24x7

surveillance. The staff of Karbi Anglong Sanctuary was also co-opted to
strengthen protection in the area. Besides to safeguard wild animals from
drowning in floods, artificial mounds / bunds have also been created at
various places. Wild animals are also rescued through boats. Under the
ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger, funding support is
provided to the State for such protection initiatives. During the last financial
year, an amount of Rs. 4.27 crores of central assistance was released to
Kaziranga under Project Tiger, this interalia, includes creation of a large
number of patrolling camps within the reserve, besides other protection
measures. An alternate alignment has been agreed upon for diverting /
widening the NH-37. However, since the said highway is in use, the NHAI
would be approached for providing flyovers at vantage points for the traffic.
This would prevent road hits, while providing safe passage for wild animals
from beneath.

6.     Earlier, the State has been requested to declare the adjoining Karbi
Anglong Wildlife Sanctuary as a Tiger Reserve to enable adequate
protection with Project Tiger assistance. This would be reiterated for
expediting the same. The Member Secretary, NTCA would be visiting the
reserve alongwith his team for spot appraisal / review, to strengthen the
efforts by assisting the State. During normal floods, which are recurring
feature, there is less mortality of wild animals. However, flash floods do
occur due to breaches in the upper areas of Brahmaputra, which result in
increased deaths of wild animals. During 1998, a similar flood situation
occurred in Kaziranga resulting a large number of wild animal deaths in the



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