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Review advocates increased patrolling coverage in Raimona National Park

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HT Bureau

GUWAHATI, Dec 12: The recent annual review of Data Driven Patrolling in Raimona National Park (RNP) in the state suggested increased patrolling coverage and the identification of sensitive areas to set up new anti-poaching camps. Data Driven Patrolling was introduced in Raimona National Park, the youngest national park in Assam, in October 2022 at the central range of the national park.

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The annual review meeting discussed the progress and outputs of the Data Driven Patrolling initiative. The additional principal chief conservator of Forest and the council head of the Department of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) Forest, Suman Mohapatra, praised the work done so far and stated the need to identify sensitive areas for building new anti-poaching camps. He also called for increased patrolling coverage, especially in the eastern and western ranges.

Concerns were raised regarding the increasing threat of timber and firewood collection in the park. The use of temporal graphs to plan better patrolling strategies to mitigate these threats was suggested. Additionally, the condition of forest roads, accessibility, and logistical issues were discussed.

The meeting appreciated Aaranyak, an organisation supporting conservation efforts, and encouraged collaboration. The participants included the DFO of Kachugaon Division, Bhanu Sinha, secretary general & CEO of Aaranyak, Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, director of Tiger Programme Panthera, Dr Abhishek Harihar, senior scientist of Aaranyak, Dr Firoz Ahmed, and staff members from RNP and Aaranyak.

Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar pledged Aaranyak’s support in legal and advocacy efforts, including organising workshops and training for the forest officials of Raimona National Park in the scientific investigation of wildlife crime cases.

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The Data Driven Patrolling initiative aims to strengthen the security of the wildlife habitat. Frontline staff of RNP have been trained and mentored in patrol data collection and management over the years with assistance from Aaranyak. The patrol data have been periodically analyzed to improve patrolling efforts and threat detection inside the park.

The review meeting highlighted the importance of recording threat data for effective planning and minimising threats in the park. Aaranyak has been supporting the Forest department of BTC in improving patrolling since 2016, starting in Bhuyanpara and Bansbari Ranges of Manas National Park. The best practices of this model were later transferred to the newly-established Raimona National Park.

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The Hills Times
The Hills Timeshttps://thehillstimes.in/
The Hills Times, a largely circulated English daily published from Diphu and printed in Guwahati, having vast readership in hills districts of Assam, and neighbouring Nagaland, Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur
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