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The Forest Department kick in drones to map two forest ranges in Anaimalai Tiger Reserve

The Forest Department kick in drones to map two forest ranges in Anaimalai Tiger Reserve

Forest Department

To prevent man-animal conflict, the forest department is planning to deploy drones for mapping Manombolly and Valparai forest ranges in Anaimalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) soon. 

M G Ganesan, deputy field director, ATR, said, “Elephants often come out of these two forest ranges and roam around tea estates. There are also incidents of them raiding ration shops for rice. So, we have decided to map the two forest ranges with the help of drones.”

He said the drone mapping would cover the entire reserve forest, villages along the forest fringes, tea estates, staff quarters, swamps and Valparai town. “The entire area will be captured with drones and the areas will be mapped. If elephants enter near a tea estate staff quarters at Valparai, officials can check the map on their computers at their offices and instruct frontline staff to chase them away to a particular direction.”

Ganesan said they were having two drone cameras and another two would be hired for the mapping work. “It will take at least 30 days to complete the work. Once the mapping is done, it will be easy to identify the areas of the two reserve forests. This will help prevent man-animal conflict in future.”

He said they had also formed a WhatsApp group 10 days ago to monitor the elephant movement at the two forest ranges in the ATR in the Pollachi forest division. “Forest department staff, tea estate managers, environmentalists and various NGOs are part of the group that is intended to share details about elephant movements.

There is another WhatsApp group for the anti-depredation squad, who will chase away elephants into reserve forests based on a specific input.”

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