Flooding update from Kaziranga National Park
TigerTime, through the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation (DSWF) funds tiger protection programmes in Kaziranga National Park, Assam – where there has been a recent flood which has left 595 animals dead.
For the animals that live in Kaziranga – including endangered rhino, tiger and elephant – the annual rains are always difficult. Many of the animals are forced out of the park by the rising flood waters making it difficult to protect them from poachers and human conflict.
However this year has been incredibly difficult with the annual flood being worse than normal. Roads and access routes were inundated which caused great problems for rescue teams and park rangers.
These floods caused the deaths of 13 rhino, 463 hog deer, 16 Sambar, 28 wild boar amongst others. There have been no deaths in tigers within the park due to the floods. The floods also claimed the lives of 100 people.
The cause of many animal deaths was due to conflict with humans trying to escape the area. The necessary corridors for the animals to move to elevated grounds to escape the floods need to be kept free from human traffic.
In an appraisal report to the Union ministry of environment and forest, Firoz Ahmed – tiger expert for DSWF – highlighted the need to relieve the corridors from human pressure and stop the change in land-use pattern.
“The corridors are under increasing threat from unplanned development and recent human settlements. This is hampering animal movement from the park to the higher areas in Karbi Anglong hills. The relevant authorities must take appropriate and timely steps to stop further denudation of the corridors between the Kaziranga and the Karbi Anglong” said Firoz Ahmed.
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Photo Credit: Firoz Ahmed