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Tiger Reserve Service Directory
 
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Introduction

Dampha is situated in the western part of Mizoram State on the international border with Bangladesh. The reserve consists of moist deciduous forests in the lower reaches and evergreen and semi-evergreen forests with the natural grassland at higher altitudes.

The entire protected area is formed of undulating high and medium hills running from North to South directions with very high precipitous and inaccessible hills. The lower reaches of the area comprises of deep valleys with extensive flat land along the river namely Keisalam, Seling and Aivapui which finally drained into the river Khawthlagtuipui.

There are numerous small perennial rivulets all over the Reserve except upper reaches where water holes-cum salt lick are being constructed at various locations for wild animals. Leaf Monkey is endemic to the Reserve. dampha is a bio-diversity hotspot with variety of flora and fauna of Indo-Malayan Origin

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Conservation History

Dampha was under a Chieftain till 1950 and the main land use at that time was for Jhum (shifting) cultivation in the lower portion. In early 1960s, small hamlets started establishing in the area for intensive shifting cultivation in the lower reaches. This had detrimental effect on the biodiversity of the area. With the objective of conserving the fast disappearing natural treasure, in 1974, was declared a Wildlife Sanctuary. However, due to some minor procedural lapses the Sanctuary had to be re-notified in 1985. The Sanctuary was declared a Tiger Reserve in 1994.

The riverine area towards the east and west along the Khawthland tuipui (also known as the Sazalui or the Tui-lianpui river towards west and the Teirei river towards east) was declared as Reserved Forest in 1952 during District Council period.

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Census  

Species
1989
1995
1996
 
  Tiger
  4
  4
  5
  Indian Elephant
  2
  5
  4
  Leopard
  4
  9
  13
  Sambhar
  44
  59
  42
  Barking deer
  56
  63
  70
  Serrow
  18
  15
  21
  Wild Boar
  8
  27
  27
  Sloth bear
  6
  10
  8
  Porcupine
  30
  20
  12
  Hoolock gibbon
  38
  41
  15
  Rhesus Macaque
  274
  210
  217
  Common langur
  148
  136
  160
  Indian civet
  18
  14
  17
  Jungle cat
  16
  17
  19
  Otter
  18
  21
  23
  Indian pangolin
  6
  11
  10
  Malayan Giant squirrel
  12
  23
  17

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Forest Types

Tropical evergreen and Semi-evergreen forests ,Tropical moist deciduous forests , Sub Montane type.

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Major Flora

Bamboos, canes and orchids.

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Major Fauna

Main Species

Tiger, Leopard, Clouded Leopard, Wild dog, Sambar, Barking Deer, Gaur (Indian Bison), Sloth bear, Hoolock gibbon, Binturong, Porcupine, Slow loris, Jungle cat, Pangolin, Black Bear, Giant squirrel, Common langur, Rhesus macaque, Wild boar, Otter.

Endangered Species

Tiger, Gaur, Clouded Leopard, Elephant, Python, Hoolock gibbon, Slow loris, Serow, Binturong, Wild dog, Flying squirrel.

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Management 

Practices, Achievements and Shortfalls

Habitat improvement by planting utility tree species, development of water holes, creation of fire lines, construction of culvert, patrolling path and providing W/T sets.

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Special Projects  

New Initiatives

Eco-development

Eco-development programme was initiated in the villages surrounding Reserve in 1997-98. Nursery, soil and water conservation, use of non-conventional source of energy, smokeless chullahs, community development, education and awareness campaigns etc. have been taken up under ecodevelopment.

Protection Squads / Patrolling

No strike force has been set up as yet. Protection and patrolling is done through existing staff and daily wagers.

Education and Awareness

Lectures, painting and essay competitions for students are organised.

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Constraints

Human Population

There is no human settlement in the Reserve. There are two BSF camps established in the core area for security reasons. Efforts are being made to shift the camps to the border area.

There are 20 villages around dampha Tiger Reserve, with a population of roughly 10,000 tribals. Their livelihood mostly depends on age-old agriculture system of slash and burn. The requirement of people for firewood, small timber and building materials etc. in adjacent forests is a pressure in the buffer area. However, the pressure is minimal.

Livestock population

The pressure of cattle in the Reserve is minimal and poses no problem.

Grazing

Cattle population in the surrounding villages is very less hence there is negligible grazing pressure.

FIRE

All villages surrounding the Tiger Reserve are practicing Jhum and hence there is always threat of fire in the Reserve during the fire season.

Year
Area burnt
   
  1994-95
  300 ha.
  1995-96
  100 ha.
  1996-97
  Nil
  1997-98
  Nil (as on the date report)

 

Poaching of fauna and flora

Not a regular phenomena.

Poached species
1995
1996
1997
 
  Monkey
  1 No.
  Nil
  Nil
  Leaf Monkey
  2 Nos.
  Nil
  Nil

Poaching Cases

     
Year
Species
No. of animals
  1991
  --
  Nil
  1992
  Elephant
  1
  1993
  Elephant
  1
  1994
  Elephant
Pangolin
  3
1
  1995
  Elephant
  1
  1996
  Elephant
Leopard Chital Bison
  3
1
3
1
  1997
  Elephant
  1

Criminals and Extremists

The Reserve lies along Indo-Bangladesh border. Of late, there has been a spurt of insurgency activity in the Tiger Reserve. During June, 1997, a Game Watcher was victimised during a routine inspection. The insurgents even snatched away the W/T Handset and a gun. Adequate security to staff of the Reserve is a must.

Diseases

Communicable cattle diseases in the villages around the Reserve is taken care of by the Animal Husbandry department by immunization of cattle through regular vaccination.

Encroachment

Due to migratory population along the International border the Tiger Reserve is under the constant threat of encroachment. Presently, the Tiger Reserve is free from habitation and encroachment.

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Conflicts   

Man-Animal

Wild Elephant and Wild Boar inflict crop damage once in a while outside the Reserve but to a very low scale.

Man-Forest

There is pressure from peripheral villagers for wild food and fuel wood in the buffer area.

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Action Points  

The Tiger Cell in the State is of paramount necessity to monitor conservation programme and also to avail national and international assistance for Tiger conservation.
2.
Effective mobility to the field staff in the Tiger Reserve is required. At least one vehicle for Strike Force and two vehicles for Range Officers are immediately required.
3.
Special pay and welfare scheme for the Wildlife staff posted in the Tiger Reserve is necessary. Since the Tiger Reserves are of paramount importance for conservation of tiger, a special funding with 100 per cent assistance from the Government of India will be necessary as the assistance from the State Government is extremely meagre.
4.
Deployment of Security Force on the International border to check infiltration of foreign nationals from Bangladesh is required. The border has not been properly sealed.
5.
A joint Tiger conservation programme with Bangladesh needs to be explored
6.
Field Director of the rank of Conservator of Forests is required while the State Government has only posted an Officer of the rank of Assistant Conservator of Forests. The strike force sanctioned by the Government of India has not been formed due to non-creation of posts by the State Government. Various posts of staff for the office of the Field Director are also yet to be created.
7.
The staff quarters for Field staff and Field Director's Office are required.

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