The conservation by Ranthambhore Nature Guide Association RNGA

What is the role of a Nature Guide in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve..

Nature Guides’ role in Tiger Monitory

Mostly Ranthambhore Nature Guide’s main income source is only this National Park. Hence they earn their livelihood by doing this job as a Nature Guide or Naturalist. Therefore, the Nature Guides are sincerely careful to the beauty and safety of this park because it is the only income source of helpless Nature Guide. So, they play very important role for the conservation of the park. That is the main reason, they are full attention to take care of it. It will surprise that from picking up plastic bags to illegal forestation, cattle grazing and forest firing are also controlled by them. They are very much careful to tiger’s monitoring and perfect conservation of the park. No any other can do so perfectly and sincerely.

Tiger Monitoring:- Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve is known as “A land of Tigers”. So native and foreigner tourists’ first choice is to enjoy its visit. So, the conservation of the tiger and wild life are the first priority of the Nature Guides. It is really a great challenge. Some forest officers and related employees have embraced to death in the task of Tiger’s Conservation. But, they have preferred duty to their life. Tigers monitoring is very necessary for their conservation . (It is only way to save tigers) A tiger’s territory is about 40 to 60 sq. km. (Average) in Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve. But it is also depended on water, food and human disturbance.

Tiger’s Monitoring is not hard but very challenging task because for this forest department has neither enough staff nor sources. It is really noticeable that through the Nature Guides, forest department get not only vehicle but also the staff without any cost. Therefore, it is admiring point and act of nature Guides which is performed by them skillfully. But they work with interest and get enough success in tigers monitoring freely and sincerely. As soon as the nature guides enter with their tourists, they start monitoring with full interest and eagerness because it is their duty as well as a main attraction of the tourists. During their trip they are fully careful to the footprints (pug mark) of a tiger, scratch marks and droppings because these are the main sources of a tiger presence and can help pinpoint their whereabout. During their game drive, they always try to pause, hear and assess the clues that are provided by the forest, such as warning calls by monkeys, deer and antelope. So during this particular time a nature guide has a time to observe anything in the forest. All these type of activities which are done by the nature guides is also the main part of the Tiger monitoring as well as keeping eyes for any illegal activity in the national park . After the game drive, each nature guide reports to a forest guard at entrance gate about the clue of tiger regularly. So, due to these clues, forest department knows the moments of a tiger in the tiger reserve.

Generally 8 vehicles (4 gypsies & 4 canters) are allowed for fixed zone in Ranthambhore National Park. Each vehicle checks about 35 to 40 kms area. About 8 nature guides check this area turn by turn. So there is no any hope of any mistake. Eight nature guides are sufficient for this area. Thus they perform their duty carefully and sincerely and satisfy tourists. There they perform their responsibility sincerely carefully and honesty. Their role is tigers monitoring is really appreciable, no doubt.

We are really very much thankful to the forest department who gave this golden opportunity to us! THANKS

Nature Guides’ role in Grazing

With the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972 and Project Tiger placed the need for conservation of India’s wildlife. Forests where animals used to graze were closed to grazing, while national parks, protected areas and sanctuaries emerged. Grazing areas for domestic animals shrank further and poor people who were dependent on these lands were pushed further and further to the periphery. So, the conflicts between livestock grazing and wildlife became so intense and many conflicts between the state and pastoralists over grazing lands remain unresolved even today.

In the 1980s, Kailash Sankhala, first director of Project Tiger and Chief Wildlife Warden of Rajasthan until 1985, wrote, 'Cattle grazing is the major problem that Indian wildlife and the national parks and sanctuaries face today' (Sankhala 1985: 58). The Indian Board for Wildlife, in its recommenda­tions on Wildlife Sanctuaries in 1965, wrote that 'as far as possible grazing of domestic animals in sanctuaries should be prohibited' (Gee 1967: 339).
With the passing of each year, new development plans and programmes have updated, supposedly in answer to problems emerging from previous Plans. India’s population has grown, agriculture has expanded and encroached, common property resources have shrunk. Surprisingly, the livestock population has surged too. And the conflicts have grown.

No doubt, the grazing has always been a huge pressure on the park. From July to October is the most problematic period since most of the cattle of nearby villages move into to forest of the Reserve. The villagers persistently attempt to invade into the core area, i.e. Ranthambore National Park. The grazing by cattle has adversely affected regeneration.

Main problem starts from the first fall of rains. Petty quarrels take place some time. This takes serious from. Some time villagers beat staff and police men are called. Some forest employees take round, police stations are set up but some inferior villagers don’t care and are ready to fight. All nature guides live there and perform duties carefully, according to the order of forest department but uneducated villagers attacks fear always keeps helpless Nature Guides under tension. Nature Guides offer these services free of charge. Parks is not opened these days. Mostly Nature Guides have no other sources of income. Department does not give them any payment and security policy. It is really department injustice to the Nature Guides (RNGA). Although their duty is really very risky but they perform their duty sincerely but nobody has admired their sincere and important services and offered them any reward of their service. It is our moral duty and Governments duty to appreciate nature Guides unselfish services and reward them by giving safety policy and economic aid.

I really appreciate the role of the nature guides in the conservation of the wild life, well done, thank you very much.

Nature Guides’ role in Firing

Occasional cases-“Firing events”

Generally Firing Events due to natural disasters are rarely seen. But it happens due to carelessness of villagers. It happens due to their illiteracy or ignorance of less educated persons. Some villagers have left the park and have settled out of the park campus but their ancestors Gods and Goddesses are inside of the park because their temples are in the park still. So, the villagers go to worship them in the park on festivals or on particular day. Generally firing accidents happen due to their worship or their smoking. Sometimes sparks from their ritual rites raise up. When they touch hay or very thin dry twings, cause dangerous fires. It is really unlucky and horrible event for the wild life and the wild animals.

Although sincere attention and efforts of forest officers and employees have controlled such type of firing events. This firing control credit goes to the Nature Guides care and efforts in particular tourist area. They give information of such events to the Forest Department time to time. So such accidents are controlled and forests with park’s beauty are also safe from the damage caused by firing. Such type accident of safety act is done by the help the of forest officers, nature guides and other employees.

I really appreciate the role of the Nature Guides in the conservation of the wild life, well done, thank you very much.

Best of luck

Nature Guides’ role in Illegal Deforestation

Illegal wood cutting threatens reserves

The government has a target for one third of India's land area to be forested, with two thirds in mountainous regions. To achieve this, a major reforestation programme is planned to establish 3 million hectares of plantations annually on scrub areas, wastelands and marginal lands and on appropriate farmland. The programme includes planting to rehabilitate degraded natural forest areas and establishing corridors to link protected areas.

It is concerned that an increase in illegal wood cutting is threatening the values of conservation reserves in India. "The combined activity of illegal wood cutting and cattle grazing are the biggest threats to the biodiversity of reserves. The end result of this activity is the destruction of native habitats and ultimately, will be a loss of the biodiversity for which these reserves, mainly conservation areas, were protected in the first place.

Besides cattle grazing, illegal deforestation is also the chief problem of this famous national park. It continue whole the year. It is unremovable headache of forest department. But we have no proper solution of this problem. Generally nearby residents are responsible for this problem. Usually, they use Dhok or Dhau (Anogeissus pendula) tree as a fuel. But, dhau is the ‘habitat specialist of the Aravalli hills, thriving on hot, dry slopes and rocky soil where most other would not survive. Dhau responds to lopping and grazing by growing shrubby and low. Covering the ground in horizontally spreading mats. It has hair –trigger response to rain in the dry season.

It is valuable for afforesting dry, rocky hills. The leaves are in excellent fodder and yield a sombre green dye that has almost been forgotten. It has only minor medicinal uses. Tannins from the sheepskin whiter. The heavy wood has been rated as the toughest timber so far tested in India-even tougher than American hickory- and is especially suitable for striking tools such as mallets. Due to the various uses of this tress, village people mostly focus to cut down it unkindly.

Such type of problem is not of this park but is a national problem. The area of the forest is shrinking due to illegal deforestation day by day. This affects wild animal’s strength. Due to lack of forest area wild animals start to enter city too. They try to come in cities only due to lack of forest area, water and disturbance of human being.

Such type of deforestation is found in the area where tourists’ entrance is prohibited. This type of deforestation has brought havoc in the park. But nobody is to prevent this act. Generally, villagers are afraid of the presence of Nature Guides & Tourism. But the area where the tourists are not allowed is out of nature guide’s watch. So the villagers may enter there and cut down tree unkindly.

But where there Nature Guides watch the villagers don’t dare to cut tree and graze their cattle. Thus dutiful Nature Guides offer their services sincerely and carefully. This is the result of their duties that the villagers don’t dare to cut tree and don’t dare to graze their cattle. Their duties have given protection and conservation to this national park. They should be given protection, security policies, financial aid and other rewards for their appreciable services. It is our humble request………..

Nature Guides’ role in Poaching

Chiefly all forest department employees and tourists with wild-life lovers try to control decreasing numbers of tigers. From NGO to Rajasthan and Central Government are trying their best to give help to wild animals and want to increase the beauty of National Park. There is no full stop on the poaching. Hunters are not missing any chance of getting benefit. They are always ready to get chance of hunting. But, forest department is fully bewared of them. Some department officers and Nature Guide’s sharp watch has failed hunters’ bad intentions particular in tourist area. Tourist’s programme, round and watching programme or trips of Nature Guides have played effective role in control of hunting.

Nature Guide’s presence, due to tourism, keeps hunters away from the National Park. Nature Guides keep strict check on poaching. They keep watching on every illegal work that damage park property. Nature Guides give information of any illegal event to the forest department as a result, proper action is taken and hunters are fined or punished properly. The Nature Guides continue watching creates fear in hunters’ hearts so they don’t dare to enter the park and can’t hunt any wild animal.

The main reason behind the control of wild-animals hunting is to keep strict watch on hinters by Nature Guides. Some Nature Guides have tried to hand over hinters to police by the help of NGO and have filled their hearts with terrible fear and terror. It is really Nature Guides prairsable work. Nature Guides always guide and inspire people and explain the importance of wild life and safety of the park.

Thus Nature Guides are faithful to forest department. In this way nature guides pay off the debt of forest department risking their dear lives. They (Nature Guides) keep strict check on poaching and play a vital role in the conservation of wild life.

You will surprise that the department and Government is not pay attention to their request and needs. A humble request is to Government to understand the needs of nature guides and oblige them. Government’s obligation will be sufficient and admirable gift of their sincere service by our Governments. It is expected that their humble request will resound in higher authorities mind and ears and they will be able in getting enough of their efforts.

Best of luck ………….

Nature Guide, Shard Ranthambhore, Ex- President, RNGA