Proposal to Include Buffer Areas of Manas Under Field Director Control

The Management Effectiveness Evaluation brought out by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has recommended that the buffer areas of the Manas Tiger Reserve under the control of Manas’ field director. Manas was notified as a tiger reserve in 2008, with 500 sq km as the core area and 2,337.10 sq km as buffer. Currently, the buffer areas are under the control of the Forest Chief of the Bodoland Territorial Council. The core area has 38 anti-poaching camps, whereas the buffer area has none. Illegal activities are said to be occurring in the buffer area as there is lack of monitoring. The guidelines identified by the effectiveness evaluation suggest that the buffer zone management should address threats to wildlife due to forest concessions, industrial pollution, highway development, farming and ecologically unsustainable activities like mining. The issue of buffer area management has already been noted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority in 2009.

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