Patrolling in core areas of PTR and PWS intensified

By A O News Service

ITANAGAR, May 19: Environment and forest department personnel have ramped up night patrolling in the core zones and fringe areas of Pakke Tiger Reserve (PTR) and Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary (PWS) in response to an alarming incident involving illegal poachers, according to official sources. This initiative comes.

The heightened security measures were prompted after discovery of four unidentified individuals engaged in illegal frog collection at Takosinyi pond, approximately 20-km from Rilloh Range office, on May 15 as reported by range forest officer Talo Dibo, who had led the patrolling team.

“Patrolling has been intensified to combat illegal fishing and the hunting of wild birds and animals within Rilloh Wildlife Range headquarters,” Dibo said, adding “Our efforts also aim to raise awareness among local community about the importance of wildlife conservation.”

The patrolling team on arrival at the spot encountered the poachers, who were armed with a .22 rifle and a 12-bore SBBL gun. The suspects fled into the dense forest, taking advantage of the night’s cover. Despite their escape, the team recovered significant evidence from the spot, including two local backpacks, two machetes, three live cartridges for 12-bore SBBL gun and a roasted Giant Black Squirrel.

Pakke Tiger Reserve in East Kameng district, spread in 862 km2 reserve area, had won India Biodiversity Award 2016 for of ‘Conservation of threatened species’ for its majestic Hornbill Nest Adoption Programme.

These forests have a high percentage of tree species (64%) that are animal-dispersed, with 12% tree species being wind-dispersed.

The PTR boasts of richd fauna, at least 40 mammal species, namely three large cats – Bengal tiger, Indian leopard and clouded leopard tiger; jungle cat, wild cat, wild dog, jackal, Himalayan black bear, binturong, elephant, gaur, sambar, hog deer, barking deer, wild boar, yellow-throated marten, Malayan giant squirrel flying squirrel, squirrel, capped langur, rhesus macaque, Assamese macaque, gaur. The presence of stamp tailed macaques has been reported by one researcher; 16 species of viverrids, weasels & mongooses; 296 bird species, including the globally endangered white-winged wood duck, unique ibisbill and rare Oriental bay owl.

Of India’s over 1500 butterfly species, the PTR is estimated to be home to 500 species. Total 36 reptile species and 30 amphibian species, highly endangered species Assam roofed turtle, king cobra and pied warty frog are also found.

The PWS lies in the undulating and hilly foothills of the Eastern Himalayas in Pakke Kessang district, is bounded by Bhareli or Kameng River in the west and north and by Pakke River in the east. It is surrounded by contiguous forests on most sides.

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