Increased surveillance in the over 480 sq km Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary at nearby Shenbagathopu has started yielding results by way of fines from poachers, District forest officer Ashok Kumar said today.
He said the forest department had acted tough against poachers and had collected Rs 11 lakh fine from them.
The sanctuary also houses Tigers,Elephants,leopard and deer
He said the frequency of surprise checks had been increased and a total of 83 cases registered in 2012 and 2013. The quantum of fine had been increased to check the poaching.
He said closed circuit cameras had also been installed to monitor forest areas and more tough action would be taken in the coming months to totally prevent poaching. Cases hadbeen registered in Rajapayalam, Srivilliputhur and sivakasi areas, he said.
The sanctuary is contiguous with Periyar tiger reserve on the south-western side and Megamalai reserve forest on the north-western side.
It is home to the endangered, arboreal grizzled giant squirrel Ratufa macrora. This greyish brown squirrel weighs from 1 kg to 1.8 kg and is in the size of a small cat. It measures about 735 mm long from nose to tail, with the tail measuring from 360 mm to 400 mm long.
These squirrels construct drays at forked branches where crowns of neighbouring trees meet,enabling them move away from the site by jumping from tree to tree when threatened, says the forest department.