By Our Staff Reporter
Guwahati, April 23: For the first time, forest guards of Mas tiol Park will patrol on motorbikes and not on foot, unfolding a new chapter in tiger conservation in the habitat.
Extensive and intricate patrolling at the deep heart as well as along the porous border of Mas is possible now, with the newly introduced motorbike patrolling.
"Earlier, we patrolled on foot and could cover distances only as much as our feet would allow. Now that we have motorbikes, we feel better equipped at detailed patrolling of the park," said forester Mrinmoy Hazarika.
Trainee Ansuma Brahma added, "We have patrolled 995 kilometres of the Bhuyanpara Range in just 2 weeks. This has been made possible only because of the motorbikes."
Ten motorbikes were handed over to help towards smooth vigation in the rugged topography of the park, particularly in the Bhuyanpara Range Office. The motorbikes were formally inducted with the flagging off by Anindya Swargowari, Council Head of the Department, Forest and Environment, Bodoland Territorial Council.
The effort has been initiated by Aaranyak and its partners to complement long term investment in tiger conservation by the tiol Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) of India which has been supporting Mas since the initiation of the Project Tiger in 1973. The NTCA supports 49 such tiger reserves today across India.
"Mas has a potential to increase its tiger population to double in ten years and that motivates us to support capacity building of forest staff to ensure that human imprint in the park is reduced through efficient patrol. We thank our donors, IUCN-KfW for supporting such infrastructure to improve patrol by the frontline forest staff," says Dr. M Firoz Ahmed, Head, Tiger Research and Conservation Division, Aaranyak.
It is worth mentioning that 20 young and energetic men working for the park under the Forest department and the NGOs Mas Maozigendri Ecotourism Society, Mas Bhuyanpara Ecotourism Society and Agrang Ecotourism Society, have gone through three weeks of rigorous training to improve their patrol skills. Apart from new motorbike patrol skills, the trainees also learned use of GPS and radio handling, compass vigation, map reading, basic combat and first aid skills, crime scene investigation and animal attack action, etc.
"Aaranyak was there, standing with us when Mas had fallen through bad times. It is still here with Mas and has been engaged actively to improve its conservation scerio. And I am sure we will continue working hand-in-hand in the future, to restore Mas back to its past glory," said Swargoary.