New Delhi: Karnataka has become the first
state in the country to form a first of its kind dedicated
armed squad for protecting endangered tigers.
The personnel of the Special Tiger Protection Force
(STPF) have already been deployed in Bandipur reserve,
Karnataka Chief Wildlife Warden BK Singh said.
The STPF is being set up under the guidelines of the
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) according to
which the company should comprise 18 foresters and 90 guards.
The Force will be commanded by an Assistant Conservator
of Forest (ACF) with three tiger force range officers under
"We have appointed 18 foresters and 63 frontline guards
who are being given training in forestry from September 15. It
will take almost a year to complete the training," Singh
After that they will be given rigorous training in the
police and paramilitary courses, a protocol for which is being
prepared by the NTCA. Members of the STPF will be armed with
modern weapons and facility of telecom network.
"We plan to appoint 30 per cent of the total forest
guards (90) from among the locals to ensure better
conservation," he said.
The NTCA will also provide vehicles, arms and other
equipment to the STPF personnel which will be entrusted with
keeping a watch on tigers within the state as well as monitor
the porous borders to keep the poachers at bay.
Spread over an area of around 874 sq km, Bandipur
sanctuary has been chosen out of Karnataka`s four tiger
reserves because it has a rich landscape. The vulnerability of
the Waynad-Bandipur zone has also been taken into account.
States like Uttarakhand and Rajasthan have issued
notification declaring their intentition to set up the STPF
which the Centre hopes will help in better protection of the