Bhubaneswar: In a bid to reduce animal deaths in the hands of humans and restore their lost habitats, Odisha government has engaged Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to prepare a comprehensive wildlife management plan for the state, officials said today.
The MoU beween state forest and environment department and WTI was signed yesterday and as per the agreement management plans will be prepared for protected areas as well as areas outside it, they said.
At present, only protected areas including 19 wildlife sanctuaries and two national parks have management plans.
These protected areas cover only 10.37 per cent of state's forest area and 5.36 per cent of its total geographical area, the officials said.
Besides mapping the key biological resources and their connectivity across the landscape, the plan will also suggest measures to restore the degraded or lost habitats which are necessary for movement and sustenance of wildlife.
A major objective behind the pact will be to reduce animal mortality by identifying conflict zones. Factors responsible for wildlife deaths such as poaching, deliberate and accidental killings through electrocution and train hits will also be mapped by WTI.
The plan will be prepared at a cost of Rs 3.65 crore and completed within 15 months, said Forest and Environment Minister B K Arukha.
WTI will get 12 months to assess the ground situation and another three months to complete the plan, which will also recommend how conservation measures can be promoted at the grassroot-level and specify infrastructure requirement.
Chief Wildlife Warden S S Srivastava signed the MoU with Executive Director of WTI Vivek Menon.
The memorandum mandates WTI with preparing 50 sub-management plans for each of the 50 forest and wildlife divisions. The plans will comprise both short and long-term activities over a period of 10 years, Srivastava said.
The comprehensive plan will also incorporate the existing management plans, he added.