Sunday, June 14, 2009

Wildlife Reserves- The Need for Wildlife Trained Officers

I was shocked to see some of the photographs sent to me by my friend from the High Ranges.

Grasslands have been scraped clean to make trek paths in wildlife reserves. I scratched my head several times, but could not find any rationale for trek paths in areas with open visibility all around. Who needs them?

I do not blame the men who made these paths. They are unable to comprehend the implications. Only a wildlife trained officer can grasp the full implications. Grasslands scraped in the High Ranges will take at least 20 years to get back to a semblance of the original vegetation. In steep places soil erosion sets in with the first rains. I put the blame squarely on the men who post the officers.

I do agree that there are very good administrators among the breed of foresters. My fervent plea is that guys being posted to wildlife reserves should be given at least a basic introductory course in wildlife management before they take up the wildlife posting

One thing that the wildlife institute instills in trainees is genuine love for wildlife. How many of our officers have this genuine empathy for wildlife?

We can ill afford to commit the kind of mistakes committed in the High Ranges. Wake up officers at the top echelons of the department. Wake up forest minister.

I also want to mention very specifically that there should not be any witch hunting in the process of correction. The usual way out is to pass the bucks and find scapegoats. High Range Tidings is certainly not interested in any mudslinging.The department was obviously lax in its ways and a correction is certainly needed. we need to build a cadre of officers whose actions will always remain unswayed by unscientific considerations

The intention of this post is purely the welfare of the wildlife and the delicate ecosystem of High Ranges. This precious ecosystem could easily tip over like an applecart if we are not careful.


Seetha.K.G said...

Great post Mohan. Keep it up. We need dedicated officers,foresters and guards to protect our wildlife.

Janardhan K.V said...

Sure Seetha. you are right. The Chiefs and the minister have to wake up before it is too late

Tamarindman said...

Hey guys, your best bet is to convince Manoharan Saab. Put some pressure on the minister

J.N Panikkar said...

It is not a case of wildlife training alone. We need men who are bold.Men who are ready to point out blunders. Men whose decisions are not swayed by lucre.

Mohan Alembath said...

Hi Guys,
I am 100% sure that the decision to scrape grasslands and make paths is not done with the knowledge of Manoharan Saab. He is aware of the intricacies of the delicate mountain ecosystem and knows very well that fiddling with it is fraught with grave consequences. He has a special affection for areas like Eravikulam. To be precise, the decision not to scrape grasslands in sensitive areas was taken by him on a trip to Eravikulan. He spent the night in the Eravikulam Hut and went in to the pros and cons of the affair.

This decision to make trek paths by scraping grasslands is one that definitely flew over his head, or he must have been led down the garden path.

J.Felix said...

This is what happens when genuine environmentalists are kept out. For 4 years no one was allowed entry in to Eravikulam on the pretext that the hut was damaged by elephants.It took 4 years to repair the hut. Is this the efficiency of the department? We would have pointed out mistakes in time. Or was it a deliberate ploy?

There is urgent need for a social audit of sanctuaries every year to combat this menace.
The Britishers made bridle paths that were absolutely essential. Here we go about digging up beautiful landscape. It is a rape of the environment. No other words can describe it.

Anonymous said...

Ia there any possibility of return to the era of no money in wildlife?. Only people genuinely interested in wildlife will go for wildlife posting then
Right now men out to make a fast buck are plumbing for wildlife posting under the guise of interest in wildlife. It is high time we identify the black sheeps.

Sree Kumar said...

Mohan, I am completely at at a loss to understand the rationale for this atrocity. Like you I scratched my head several times. This is the height of stupidity

Anonymous said...

How can officers flout with impunity the rules and regulations?
In the case of Eravikulam it specifically mentions in the management plan that scraping grass is taboo.
The department is obliviously in slumber mood. As Mohan mentioned, wake up officers at the high echelons of the department. Wake up forest minister

Dr, Shaju said...

Dear Mohan,

What you wrote is 100% correct. What we need is, officers with knowledge and love for wildlife. I think the people on the top will take care of your concerns. Keep it up.
Best wishes and regards,
Dr. Shaju Thomas