The State of Karnataka has set up a tiger protection force of fifty four foresters and forest guards trained to protect the tigers its reserves. This is a first step of its kind ever taken in India. The STPF has been constituted under the directive of MOEF this unit will be initially in charge of Billgiri Rangaga Temple Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur Tiger Reserve and Nagarhole Tiger Reserve in the state.
The major threat to the tigers in Southern States are from the infamous Khatni Gang active since last twenty five years in the country. The threat looms large in other states as well. The guards have been trained for thirteen weeks at the Police Training School at Yelahanka. The training included weapons usage, unarmed combat, filed engineering, map reading and disaster management.
BK Singh the PCCF of Karnataka asserts the employment of more such forces to save the endangered cat. As per Rajesh Gopal Chairman NTCA more such protection units will be deployed in other states. This good news since the untrained forest guard is helpless against organized crime in the forests. A trained unit under effective comman and control will function in a much better way to curb poaching in the protected areas.
I hope the training is in tandem with what specialization is required to protect wildlife in our reserves. This is a good move since physical protection in most of our reserves and wildlife sanctuaries is severely lacking. There may more such gangs active in many places in India the deployment of STPF will discourage their activities and bring them under the net. (Source TOI)