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End to poaching: Surveillance cameras installed at Jim Corbett
To keep an eye on the poachers, India's oldest Jim Corbett National park is mulling to install unmanned anti-poaching surveillance system besides the tiger protection force. Hope it marks an increase in the dwindling numbers of cats.

THE National Tiger Conservation Authority is planning new unmanned anti-poaching surveillance system and tiger protection force in the Jim Corbett National Park. The 24x7 surveillance system consists of nine unmanned watchtowers with infra-red and thermal cameras. Interestingly, three of the nine watchtowers are already in place and fully solar-powered. It will help to collect data on wildlife movements that would be monitored from a central station, located in the Kalagarh forest reserve area.

Asia’s oldest, The Jim Corbett National Park, earlier called Hailey Park, was thrown open to public on August 8, 1936. The park spread over 323.75 sq km then, has a total area of approximately 1300 sq km now covering Kalagarh reservoir and buffer zone to protect forest area. Project Tiger was launched in 1973. The park’s tiger population was only 40 at the time of its launch but now the park boasts of 214 tigers. According to the 2011 wildlife census, 1411 Royal Bengal Tigers are present in the wild in India.

A Fashion designing student said: “It is interesting to see this park now. During my last visit I had seen only vanishing forest but this time I saw two Royal Bengal Tigers and it was really joyful moment for me”. “This year park has turned 75 and looking more environment friendly than earlier,” added another student.

An official from the Indian Forest Services said about the success story of the park: “I think controlling the poachers and conserving the tigers makes the difference in the reserve”.

Another official added, “The real threats to the tigers are from poachers, which lead to the incidents of man-animal conflicts. Sometime such incidents are politicised making people hostile to the conservation efforts”. It would be right to say that mainitaining the atmosphere for tiger’s conservation is a biggest challenge for forest authorities. Other attractions of the park include varieties of birds including 50 species of birds, among them highly endangered vultures, aquatic animals such as otters found in the Ramganga River that flows through the park. The park has largely unknown floral diversity that includes many rare species of orchids. One of healthiest population of elephants is also seen in this park.

One of the worrying facts, though, is the increasing number of visitors that puts considerable stress on the ecosystem that is vital to the park’s existence. The hot topic is whether our Tiger Reserves and National Parks should be kept free from any human activity including tourism as it is hampering the conservation efforts for endangered animals?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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