Nagpur Local

Maharashtra: 5,450 animals using protected underpasses on highways

Image result for wild animals nagpurNAGPUR: While the longest national highway in the world, NH-7, travelling along Maharashtra’s Pench Tiger Reserve still features reports of wild animal deaths, the animals have now found new ways to escape vehicles.
More than 5,450 wild animals, including 11 tigers, were captured on camera using six highway underpasses, the country’s first dedicated animal crossing structures from March to December 2019, a study by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, says. Tiger, spotted deer, wild boars, hare and jungle cat were among the first species captured under the structures, and are regularly captured, according to the findings.
Tiger scientist Bilal Habib, who suggested the mitigation measures, said, “The monitoring exercise has shown that these crossing structures contribute to improving the permeability of the landscape. Such mitigation measures, if adopted, would help defragment fragmented landscapes.” WWI Report: 18 wild animal species use underpasses The report, based on March-Decece camera trap survey data According to the WII survey, spotted deer, wild boars and wild dogs were the most frequent users of these underpasses besides tigers and leopards. The jungle cat, mongoose, common palm civet, small Indian civet, Indian hare, rusty-spotted cat, and porcupine were among the other species.
“By the mitigation structures, 89 tiger crossings have been recorded until 31 December. These crossings lead to 11 individual tigers, which are regular users of the underpasses too, “says the report. Nine wildlife mitigation structures have been constructed along a 16.1 km length of the NH-7 passing through forests adjacent to the Pench Tiger Reserve and crossing the Pench-Navegaon-Nagzira tiger corridor as proposed in the May 2015 WII-NTCA Joint Report. “The initial outcomes of tracking NH-7 mitigation steps are very positive. We have recorded 5,381 captures of 18 wild animal species from these underpasses, the most frequent use of which was made by jungle cat, hare, chital, wild pig, wild dog and tiger, “tiger scientist Bilal Habib said.

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