GUWAHATI: In a bid to bolster wildlife protection measures, the Raimona National Park (RNP) in Assam conducted its annual review meeting, focusing on the progress of the Data-Driven Patrolling initiative introduced in October 2022.
The youngest national park in Assam, RNP, explored avenues for increased patrolling coverage and the identification of sensitive areas for the establishment of new anti-poaching camps.
The annual review meeting, held recently, witnessed the active participation of key stakeholders, including the Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and the Council Head of the Department of Bodoland Territorial Council (BTC) Forest, Suman Mohapatra.
Mohapatra commended the efforts of park rangers and stressed the importance of identifying sensitive areas for new anti-poaching camps, particularly in the Eastern and Western Ranges.
Expressing concerns about the rising threats of timber and firewood collection in the park, Mohapatra suggested the use of temporal graphs to devise more effective patrolling strategies.
He also inquired about the condition of forest roads, accessibility, and logistical issues.
Acknowledging the support of Aaranyak, a biodiversity conservation organisation, the Additional PCCF encouraged forest staff to maintain collaboration with Aaranyak and sustain their efforts.
The meeting also featured the active participation of key figures, including DFO of Kachugaon Division Bhanu Sinha, Secretary General and CEO of Aaranyak Dr Bibhab Kumar Talukdar, Director Tiger Programme Panthera Dr Abhishek Harihar, and senior scientist of Aaranyak Dr Firoz Ahmed, alongside staff members from RNP and Aaranyak.
Dr Talukdar praised the RNP forest staff for their dedication and highlighted the low conviction rates in wildlife crime cases.
He pledged Aaranyak’s support in legal and advocacy matters through workshops and training for RNP’s forest officials in the scientific investigation of wildlife crime cases.
The data-driven patrolling initiative was introduced in Raimona National Park to strengthen wildlife habitat security.
Throughout the year, frontline staff received training and mentorship in patrol data collection and management, facilitated by Aaranyak’s dedicated team. Periodic analysis of patrol data has been instrumental in improving patrolling efforts and enhancing threat detection within the park.