Research and Monitoring

The sanctuary is having the service of one Forest Veterinary Officer of the state. The office of the Asst: Forest Veterinary Officer is equipped with facility for the chemical immobilization of wild animals. Successful tranquilization and translocation were carried out for the rescue of many wild animals. Chemical immobilizations of injured free ranging elephants were also carried out Translocation of leopards to mitigate conflict were also note rare. A radio-collaring operation in free ranging elephants to understand the conflict was also initiated.

Routine systematic post-mortem of the animals conducts. In 2007 a 'Wildlife Disease Diagnostic Laboratory' was initiated. This laboratory is equipped with routine clinical laboratory facility. Apart from that a state of the art 'molecular disease diagnostic facility is also available. This is highly useful in the disease dynamics in free ranging populations. For the past three years many major emerging diseases were identified in the wildlife particularly in the free ranging Asian elephant population. One of the important finding is' highly fatal Endotheliotropic Asian Elephant Herpes Virus' mortality in young elephants. This is the first report of EEHV infection in elephants of Indian Subcontinent and first report in the free ranging Asian Elephants. This facility is also used for early detection of EEHV, thus facilitate early detection and treatment of infected elephants. Spill over of the Mycobacterium tuberculosis or human tuberculosis was also reported in free ranging elephants. These findings pointing out extreme level of human elephant conflict in the landscape. Other major macro parasite emergences were also identified. These findings would help to make policy decisions for the better management of Wildlife Population in the sanctuary.

Basic data collection in respect of fauna and flora is to be given priority to know the wealth of wildlife in the Protected Area. Though preliminary studies have been conducted in respect of flora and some groups of vertebrates, they are not exhaustive. An exhaustive enumeration of tiger population in the PA is in progress in the leadership of WWF-India through camera trapping. So far 75 individual tigers have been identified through this method. As this population has to be protected from poaching, proper plans are to be developed for further strengthening protection as well as monitoring these population. Collecting scientific information about wild animals, their habitat and various problems associated with the migration, diseases and the behavior of the animals in the PA has to be carried out as a full-fledged research activity. The problems include habitat improvement, ecological studies, wildlife management, the life history of individual species, the breeding behavior of the small and larger animals have to be carried out. Regular monitoring of wild animals is an important aspect in a PA for management decisions. It should be done annually with more precision and the population data be made available within a short period. Moreover, there are socio-economic surveys of forest-dependent communities conducted by Oorumitra. Evaluation of activities under Eco Development Committees and livelihood security of tribal communities who inhabit inside and fringe of the forest area is in progress.