Kolkata: The Buxa Tiger Reserve in north
Bengal will undertake a joint exercise with neighbouring
Bhutan for monitoring and protection of tigers and other
"Bhutan`s joint participation with the Buxa Tiger Reserve
will be mutually beneficial in the conservation of biological
corridors and protection of big cats," field director of the
reserve R P Saini said.
Saini, who had participated in a meeting of the Global
Tiger Forum in Delhi on June 28, said it had been decided to
forge close cooperation among officers of adjoining reserves
of neighbouring counties for better monitoring and protection of
tigers and other wild life.
It was also decided that training facilities of all
member-countries would be mutually shared, he said.
Asked about the time line of the programme commencing, he
said first a study had to be conducted to find out facilities
in the member-countries.
"One country may have better facilities for training
range officers, while some other country may have better
facilities for training forest guards," he pointed out and
said it would take some time.
Saini said at present there was no pact with Bhutan for
joint monitoring or sharing of each other`s facilities.
"Only a bi-annual meeting was held between the two
countries in which everything from trade to law and order and
wildlife was discussed," he said.
A sub-adult tiger was photographed for the first time
in Buxa in March this year.
"There was never a doubt that the forest had tigers. The
only worry was that sightings had become rare. So, this
was very reassuring," Saini said.
A tiger census was held in the 761-square-kilometre
reserve this year using scat analysis and camera trapping
method and the outcome is expected to be known by the end of
the year, sources in the Buxa reserve said.
At the meeting of the Global Tiger Forum representatives
of various countries had discussed the issues confronting
tiger threadbare and underlined the need for trans-boundary
cooperation to check poaching.
They also expressed concern that habitat loss, unabated
smuggling of animal parts and bones and declining prey base
continued to take toll on the tiger population which is now
estimated to be less than 3,000 worldwide.