Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Dramatic and drastic changes took place in Bandhavgarh after 2006. Chainlink fence all over the Tala zone made it a complete disaster for Tigers.
Lakshmi was one tigress who shared the territory of her mother with her two other siblings. Her share was a long thin stripe of forest, a tar road and other side of Tar road up till Ranchha village. 
Often she was seen crossing the road in late evening and early morning. There was nothing new in this. Tigers of Bandhavgarh were doing this since the day they came here.
Banka, Charger, Sita, Shashi, Lakshmi, Bamera and Rahsy are the few name to who were doing this. People including myself has seen tiger going through Tala village high street. Once in monsoon a lorry driver was blowing his horn for about ten minutes. It woke me up and in that curiosity that what happened to him I reached the spot to see Charger standing in middle of the road. I backed up to give him some space. Once he is gone I asked lorry driver where he saw him, sitting on the road was the answer.
Lakshmi use to take her cubs in Tala village and beyond to feed them on cattle. Once Rajesh Dwivedi phoned me at about three AM asking for help because a Tiger entered in cattle yard. By the time I reached the Tiger was gone but it killed few cattle in some other house. She made a kill in backyard of some house and when her cubs started playing only then villagers knew that a tiger family is there in their backyard. This was the day when Pancham got killed by Lakshmi in Tala village. 
This is an open secret in Tala that Lakshmi pulled her leg in leaping over the fence. She limped throughout his life and this limp became the cause of her death.
So because of Lakshmi a Chain link fence was put on Tala Umariya road but before this chainlink fence replaced the electric fence in Tala range. This electric fence forced four sub adult cubs to stay more than longer (up to 3 years six months of age) they should have been here and in this extra time they deminish the prey base in Chakradhara, Jamuniya, Bhitri, Chorbehra and Dhobiyakhol area. These areas has not recovered since then.
Other thing that changed Chakradhara meadow completely upside down was ploughing with a tractor. Chakradhara meadow has sandy soil due to the Sandstone fort hill. There was a thick layer of leaf litter on top of the sand that was helping in holding the moisture. Once this leaf litter culture was ploughed all came out on top is sand. Removing elephant grass also did not helped the meadow. Now there is not much new shoots available for deer to graze.

One officer wonders why more deer graze in village fields than park land. Every evening he sees Spotted Deer and Sambhar grazing in Gohni and Mahaman field.
I add some more fuel in his fire by asking him that why there is no Sida type weed in those grasslands?
He was puzzled.
If they start working in right direction even then it will take minimum three years to bring the things on right track.

1 comment:

Debasis Bose said...

Your meticulous observation over the years reflects on the quality and willingness of forest department staff. It seems there is lack of proper motivation, planning, appropriate guidelines, and corrective measures by the government coupled with understaffed and lack of qualified, competent , passionate senior management/forest staff.