In his reply during the demand for grants in the TN Assembly, Forest Minister K Ramachandran also announced that an Agasthiyar elephant reserve will be declared in the Agasthiyar reserve forest area to protect the jumbos and conserve the elephant corridor in Kanniyakumari, Tenkasi, and Tirunelveli districts.
The new elephant reserve will be the fifth one in the state. The Minister also announced a conservation scheme for the critically endangered dugong (sea cow) found along the Gulf of Mannar Biosphere and also said a marine elite force will be established to monitor the poaching of marine animals. Ramachandran also said that three more wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centers will be established in Tiruchy, Coimbatore, and Tirunelveli districts to treat stray and injured wild animals.
Digitization of Forest Department records. Increased compensation for the affected victims of wildlife encounters and a corpus of Rs 10 crore for man-animal conflicts were other announcements made by the Minister in the Assembly.
Formation of sniffer dog squads to help the foresters in investigating wildlife poaching cases announced.
“Preparation of the Integrated Wetland Management Plan and identification of wetlands of importance and preparation of health cards for wetlands will enhance the eco biodiversity,” said KVRK Thirunaranan, founder, The Nature Trust.