Dhoni: U`khand`s 1st wildlife warden

Last Updated: Sunday, September 5, 2010 - 20:50

Dehradun: India cricket captain Mahendra
Singh Dhoni was today nominated as Uttarakhand`s first
honorary wildlife warden as part of the hill state`s tiger
conservation campaign.

An announcement to this effect was made by Chief Minister
Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank following a meeting with the
cricketer, an official release said.

Nishank also declared Dhoni as the brand ambassador of
the save tiger campaign in the state which houses two major
national parks -- Jim Corbett and Rajaji, which are natural
habitats for tigers.

Later Dhoni welcomed the move and thanked Chief Minister
in this regard. "I am lending my support to the Aircel-NDTV
`Save our Tigers` campaign.

"Uttarakhand has some of the best forests in India. I
have come specially to Dehradun to request the Chief Minister
to do whatever is in his capacity to ensure a safe environment
for tigers and to commend him on the work done on the tiger
protection," Dhoni said.

"I look forward to the corridor of Corbett-Rajaji being
widened and strengthened at the earliest. I am delighted to
accept the honorary wildlife warden post which has been
offered to me by the Uttarakhand Chief Minister," he added.

Earlier, Dhoni handed over a charter of demands `tiger
agenda` listing steps which should be taken for the protection
of the tigers especially in Jim Corbett National Park of the
state.

The tiger agenda has demanded that vast area of Jim
Corbett Park, Ramnagar and Terai forests should be brought
under the jurisdiction of a single Field Director.

Besides, the encroachments along the banks of Gola and
Kosi rivers in Ramnagar and border areas of Jim Corbett and
Rajaji Parks should be removed in order to protect wildlife.

The agenda has also demanded to rehabilitate villagers of
Khand village on the periphery of Rajaji Park to elsewhere and
raising a special tiger protection force in the state.

During the meeting, Nishank apprised Dhoni of various
steps taken by the state government for protection of wildlife
and particularly tigers. He said according to the latest
statistics, there are 200 tigers in the state including
164 in Corbett National Park alone.

Stating that density of tigers in Corbett National Park
is just double against the national average, Nishank said
there is one tiger found in an area of five square kilometre
in Corbett Park.

Besides, Nishank said the mortality rate of tigers in
Uttarakhand is half as compared to the national average.

Regarding setting up of special tiger protection force,
the Chief Minister said that the state government has already
issued a notification in this regard.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, September 5, 2010 - 20:50

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