Five batches of 40 participants to be trained
The Forest Department is in the process of imparting training to anti-poaching watchers to infuse in them a professional outlook.
The residential programme is titled ‘Training on Combat Strategy Operation and Wildlife Ecology for Anti-Poaching Watchers’.
Five batches of 40 participants each - 20 drawn from areas in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve and the rest from The Nilgiris district will gain from the five-day training programme initiated last month by the Forest Department, WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and STF (Special Task Force).
The training module designed by the Conservator of Forest and Director of Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve I. Anwardin and other experts would benefit newly appointed anti-poaching watchers chosen from among tribals in the Sathyamangalam and Hassanur divisions.
The strength of anti-poaching watchers was increased to 150 from 60 after declaration of Sathyamangalam forest as a tiger reserve last year.
The training for participants envisages attitude orientation, District Forest Officer of Sathyamangalam Division and Deputy Director of STR K. Rajkumar said.
To begin with, the participants are given orientation on introduction to Protected Areas / Wildlife Protection Act, Elephant Reserves / Tiger Reserves, Wildlife Sanctuaries, Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve, and essential field survival skills - ambush techniques and knots making.
During the experience sharing session by anti-poaching watchers, successful cases, difficulties, risks, encounters with poachers, and reasons for failures are detailed. Training in unarmed combat, essential patrol communication skills - field signals using sign language and wireless handling, essential field patrol skills - laying tents and freezing exercises, and enhancing observation skills through mind games constitutes the focus areas on the second day. Subsequently, the participants are being exposed to map reading and using Global Positioning System, handling adverse situations, camouflage and concealment, and good practices in mitigation of human-wildlife conflict.
Topics on wildlife crime detection, prosecution and wildlife field forensics, wildlife diseases and field protocol for carcass post-mortem and disposal, and practical session on navigation in darkness are handled, after which the trainees receive orientation on intelligence collection, cordon and search operation, and an experience-sharing on best practices of anti-poaching activities.
Training in unarmed combat, essential patrol communication skills to be given