By R. Krishnamoorthy
With the newly-created Hasanur Forest Division taking formal shape, the department is able to plan effective monitoring in the cross-border areas of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) with relative ease, according to officials.
The department is in a position to bolster manpower by inducting more anti-poaching watchers chosen from among locals in the forest area with innate knowledge of the terrain. There will be 150 anti-poaching watchers for STR: 90 for Sathy division and the rest for Hasanur Division.
Camps for anti-poaching watchers with monitoring equipment would be established in cross-border areas to prevent movement of poachers. Patrolling by anti-poaching watchers in areas specified to each individual could be read with GPS technology, Conservator of Forests and Field Director, Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve, I. Anwardin, said.
The divisional and range level officers would be able to address ground-level issues more effectively, he said.
The new division was carved out of the Sathyamangalam Forest Division that had jurisdiction over 1.4 lakh hectares of forest area. More attention could henceforth be provided to Thengumarada landscape, said Mr. Anwardin. Sathyamangalam forest division was the largest in Tamil Nadu before bifurcation was effected. Alongside the ranges of Hasanur, Thalavadi and Germalam altogether spread over about 50,000 hectares, the Hasanur Division has eco-development and Forest Squad ranges as well. The rest of the forest area comes under four ranges of Sathyamangalam Division including Bhavani Sagar and T.N. Palayam ranges. Rangers of territorial ranges can hereafter focus exclusively on the main task of tiger conservation, and preventing cross-border movement of poachers, Deputy Director of STR P. Pari said.