Forest department report nails Karanth

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Forest department report nails Karanth

Imran Khan
First Published : 01 Dec 2009 05:39:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 01 Dec 2009 07:37:08 AM IST

BANGALORE: The state forest department in a report, which is to be submitted to the High Court soon, has held that noted wildlife conservationist Ullas Karanth was responsible for the death of tigers in Nagarhole National Park between January and May 1990. Tigers deaths have been attributed to the ‘method of tranquilisation’ used for radio collaring.

However, the report doesn’t mention the number of tigers killed.

In the report, a copy of which is with Express, the forest department has also said that Karanth was denied permission to conduct a 10-year study on tigers through the radiocollar technique.

The High Court, while hearing a PIL, had on November 25 directed the government to submit a report within two weeks on the permission given by the PCCF to NGOs for entering wildlife sanctuaries and the findings of the inquiry against Karanth for tigers deaths in Nagarhole National Park.

The report says that Karanth was granted permission for research on January 1, 1985 and that it was withdrawn (vide order number AHFF 106 FWL 90) on July 7, 1990 after tiger deaths were reported between January and May.

In 2007, his organisation — Centre for Wildlife Studies (CWS) — had submitted a 10-year project proposal titled ‘Meta Population dynamics of Tigers in the Malnad-Mysore landscape of Karnataka’ to the chief wildlife warden. The report mentions that the state government had issued an order granting permission on January 16, 2008 and an agreement was executed on October 10, 2008 with the condition that “there shall be no effort at physical capturing or disturbance to any wildlife during the permission period.” However, the report says that the Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF), Hunsur and DCF, Bhadra had felt that it was not advisable to have ‘radio telemetry’ experiments on tigers in Nagarhole National Park.

In July, the chief wildlife warden, citing Wildlife Protection Act of 1972, refused permission to him for radio collaring of tigers in state.

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