In view of possible infiltration inside the sanctuary, the Chitwan National Park has come up with several measures to protect its valuable wildlife.
The CNP authority said security measures were introduced as human activity around the park area was likely to go up this season.
“This is the time when people crowd around the park. This could result in an increase in illegal entry into the park. Poachers might get active this time,” said Bed Kumar Dhakal, chief conservation officer at the CNP, explaining the reason behind the heightened security.
The park has set up an anti-poaching unit involving local communities in conservation efforts. Under this model, local community representatives, park officials and security forces conduct patrols in close coordination.
Besides, the park has also increased regular patrols inside the protected area.
According to Dhakal, new techniques were in place to thwart potential wildlife poaching.
The CNP has been conducting patrols and setting up ambushes during the night in areas where protected animals are threatened.
According to The Kathmandu Post, Nepal Army soldiers posted inside the park conduct nighttime patrols. The watch begins at 7pm and goes on till 6 in the morning.
“Besides, night ambush is also in operation. We deploy security forces overnight at places deemed dangerous, which are possible habitats of tiger and rhinos, and are out of the regular surveillance radar,” added Dhakal.
A total of 50 temporary security posts for night ambush have been set up. Forty of the CNP’s tamed elephants, 200 park officials and nearly 1,000 security force members are mobilised for covering all of the park, which is home to tigers and one-horned rhinos.
While the park itself oversees security inside the core area, security across the buffer zone is managed by local communities, said chief warden Dhakal.
“The way community has taken initiatives in conservation efforts is praiseworthy. Besides taking part in regular patrolling, they also inform us whenever they see new people, who could be potential culprits in wildlife crimes. Local communities have taken the role of watchdogs in conservation,” added Dhakal.
The protected area has also upgraded its technology for real time patrolling, which gives details about the team’s location, areas covered, and other aspects. These details are then relayed to the agencies concerned. With the system, the concerned bodies can also monitor patrolling groups from any locations.
“Through real time monitoring, we can keep tabs on the patrolling groups as well. We can track them and send reinforcements immediately whenever they need support. This technology has been very supportive,” said Dhakal.
Last week, the CNP celebrated one year of zero poaching, which the chief warden believes was the result of a joint coordination of the stakeholders.
A male rhino was killed by poachers at Dhubaghat of Belhatta Hariyali Community Forest on April 7, 2017. Since then no other incident of poaching has been reported.