Modern equipment for protecting sandalwood

Marayur division to get new devices

The Marayur Sandalwood Division will soon be equipped with modern devices to protect sandalwood trees and reduce man-animal conflicts.

The monitoring of an area of 13 sq km will be done using night vision and infrared cameras and drones. In addition sensor devices will also be installed in key areas to monitor human movement.

B.Ramjith, Marayur DFO (divisional forest officer) said that this would considerably reduce the work of the field staff while getting

timely information at the head office. Maryayur Sandalwood Division employs 200 people in addition to 100 permanent staff.

This is the wealthiest forest division in the State with 56,000 sandalwood trees each having a number tagged on it.

Over the years sandalwood smuggling could be effectively countered, reaching to almost zero level now. This was done through participatory management by employing the tribespeople in sandalwood protection and promoting agri-based employment inside the forest.

The sandalwood division is also a habitat for a wide range of animal species including wild elephant, leopard, wild gaur, sambar and spotted deer.

Animal barriers

Animal barriers were often harmful to the wild animals and resulted in isolation of them in small areas. The movements of the wild animals on the borders could be effectively noticed and steps taken to drive them into the forest using the modern technology, Marayur Range officer M. G. Vinodkumar told The Hindu on Sunday. He said that though fencing was done and annual repair works taken up wild elephants constantly damage them. This was the reason for increasing man-animal conflicts in Kanthallur area.

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