Bears In North Bengal To Be Fitted With Radio Collars For Movement Tracking


Kolkata, Feb 1 (IANS) Asiatic black bears in the hills and jungles in north Bengal will soon be fitted with radio collars to track their movements, as per the state Forest department.

This is an extension of the department's decision in November last year to conduct a census of these Asiatic black bears, said a top forest official.

'For the last couple of years, it is being seen that with the advent of winter every November, a number of such Asiatic black bears come down from the hills to the plains and frequent the human habitations adjacent to the tea garden areas in the Terai and Dooars regions in the state. So, in view of their erratic behaviour it has become essential to track their movement and have an idea about the reasons prompting these animals towards an unconventional behaviour,' said the state forest department official.

He also said that once fitted with these radio collars, which is to be done in cooperation with the German firm expert in the field, the control room of the state forest department would be able to have details of their movement of these Asiatic Black Bears through satellite tracking.

'Once they reach the plains from the hills that will also be tracked. Accordingly, the forest department officials and the local administration would be alerted for precautionary measures,' the state forest department official said.

In the recent past, the forest department has witnessed an increase in the population of Asiatic black bears in the region, which had prompted the state forest department to conduct a census on this count. As per records of the department, since the past one-year period Asiatic black bears have been spotted in the pockets adjacent to Malbazar, Dhupguri, Madarihat and Buxa in North Bengal.

During the single month of November last year, six bears were rescued by the forest department from these pockets. These unusual frequenting led to man-animal conflict in the region, in which one person was killed and some others were injured in bear attack. An Asiatic black bear was also killed in the process.




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