Terai Arc; Chitwan and Bardia National Park; Indian Rhinoceros; Asian Elephant; Bengal Tiger
Terai Arc; Chitwan and Bardia National Park; Indian Rhinoceros; Asian Elephant; Bengal Tiger
NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
27 Mar 2001
- Chitwan National Park
- 27.5 84.33333
Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo
Log of DAT #: 7
Engineer: Bill McQuay
Date: April 2001
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2:03 -- ANIL MANANDAR INTERVIEW ¿ all in MS
2:15 My name is Vishin Vadulan, work at King Mahendra Trust. This place we call Dumidia inside nat¿l park
2:45 I don¿t know exactly. I have just the experience in taking the tiger. Mostly dense forest, tall grasses, woodland.
3:20 You have to burn the grasses in certain times, before the dry season so the forest doesn¿t catch fire. And also, when you burn these grasses, next year it grows. These grasses become something like a fertilizer for the new grasses and it grows well.
3:40 Taller than elephants, it¿s known as elephant grass. In last November, we did transportation, and we wait inside these grasses and even to see a rhino, let¿s say 10 meter was very difficult. And the tiger is smaller than rhino and elephants, so it is very difficult.
4:32 Very difficult to see in the time, when the grass is tall, very difficult to see... and actually, during the monsoon season, the park is closed for the visitors.
4:49 Not for park, but I am working for the Trust... It was beginning, I came here 1973. Just started tiger ecology project...... Yes, it was running by Smithsonian Institute in US. And it was the study about tiger.
5:24 When I came here, the first time I saw the wild tiger. It was first darting tiger I saw and then when Kibili going to handling the tiger that¿s already darted, and Dr. Kibili went to handling the tiger and he said, come to see the tiger. And I am so afraid at the time. I went very gingerly to close by the tiger and I was so afraid. That was my first time.
6:19 Yeah, I¿m thinking that you know, it still is moving. The rocking, but it still is moving. And head was moving like this and that¿s why I am afraid.
6:37 I saw tiger not twelve years ago, but seven, eight years ago in Bardia. We were driving and we were not expecting anything in the night, but it was there. It was the most beautiful scene I have ever seen... Something like it¿s color, the way it walks, is something very, how you say, majestic. ...slowly and it doesn¿t care whether you are there. It¿s the king of the jungle.
7:34 Here we have tiger and our estimate is about 50 breeding tiger and it may be more. So, in total, we estimate about 150 tigers in this park. Elephant numbers here, we did a survey. It¿s about 25-30 wild elephants. But it moves between Chitwan and Parsa. Last April, we did the rhino count here, and we found only in this part 540 rhinos. You can see Nugul bison here, but I don¿t know the number.
8:34 This is the second-largest collection of greater one-horned rhinos in the world.
8:54 You can see our conservation history. The number of rhinos, estimated population in the late 60s was between 80 and 100. And at that time, there was no Chitwan park, so it was through whole Chitwan district. Now, just in the park, we have 544 rhinos. And habitat has decreased, but the number has increased. Even the tiger number increasing. You can just get that when the population increase and the habitat stays the same, you need more space.
9:52 What we are planning, especially for the tiger is if we can connect this park with other national parks like Bardia ...No, it¿s about 300 km from here. So, if you can connect this park through corridors, or what we call linkages, then they can move through these corridors.
10:19 These are the meta-population. Chitwan is the meta-population and we have about 30-35 breeding population in Bardia. So linking these two meta-population through gene flow and genetic dispersal will be done through these corridors.
10:40 Mainly, it¿s for the gene flow. But why we are transporting rhino is if you have all the eggs in one basket, if anything happens, it¿s all gone. But now we have established the second population of rhinos in Bardia. So if anything happens here in Chitwan, we still have that population there in Bardia. And we are now trying to establish the third population in Souklafonta, so we can be sure that we have rhino population no matter what happens in these parts.
11:31 Terai Arc is a vision right now for us to link 11 protected area in Terai, and this is in global 200 eco-region, this Terai where savannas and grasslands eco-region. And this is the main habitats for the tigers, so you can call Terai Arc a tiger... ...Tiger land. So we are trying to connect all these protected areas so there can be movement of the big species. And also we want to conserve the Souriya Hills which is the main corridor... Yah, which is also a major water source for the Terai and its fertility.
12:26 But it also constitute a part of Souriya hills, so we can say the Terai Arc is in the shadow of the Himalayas.
12:46 We are very proud. This is also a world heritage site. Not only this, we are proud of all our parks... You know, we are since this rhino 1986, it was. Rhino was estimate 350 and then after that, we count 1994, it was we estimate 450 and then we last year count 544, there is no more. That¿s going to, we found, population increase.
13:56 actually, we simply, 3 or 4 years ago came up with the new idea of buffer zone. So around this park are buffer zone, where there are people living. Revenue of this park, 50% of the revenue of this park goes to the communities in the buffer zone Not to the government, only to the community. And they can decide how they will use it. They have the authority and they formed the committees. So they are using it for say, community development and health and also in conservation.
14:51 To build health clinics, schools, roads... everything... drinking water. So that has created a big, a good relation between the community and the park, so now the people living around the park are helping to conserve.
15:17 we have anti-poaching units here. and in that unit it includes not only the national park staff. It includes the national park staff, the protection unit, that is the army here, and the local communities.
15:38 < Terai Arc is a vision?> Terai Arc isn¿t a project, it¿s a program. It¿s something we want to do in 5 to 10 years for conserving this wildlife. But for conserving this wildlife and biodiversity in this area for more than 100 years.
16:06 Yeah, a lot of change. When I came here, outside the park, there is the community forest, like the buffer zone. That forest completely finished, destroyed. And now, they are conserving like preserves. The local communities now making planting and something like that... planting trees. And also, now is very good outside park, the forest also. The local people is there in the good forest, everything from there. And they won¿t come inside. Before, when I came here, the local people impacted inside, they take a lot of things from inside the national park. Like fodder, and then wood... firewood. Now they get it from the community forest, that kind of things and they benefit from there. Less impact inside the park now.
17:48 I think that being a very small country, come and see what we are doing. And we just say, can you do it, in your country?... on thing we must learn from our experience is that if you try, you can do it.
18:26 Because we have experience. We started this conservation about 25 years ago and you can see it now for yourself. Yeah, in the beginning it was totally protection ¿ guards with the army. ...At the time, maybe it was required, because the wildlife population has gone down so much and the poaching was so rampant. But after working for 10, 15 years, the government and also the conservationist here realized you have to have the support of the people. Until you do it, it will not become sustainable.
19:14 Actually, in 1986, maybe it¿s first time in the world, we established a conservation area system. Which means is a protected area that¿s managed by the local people. So buffer zone is again a new thing where you share the revenue of the park directly with the local communities so they can come and support the work.
19:55 Sure. I think in conservation, we are also learning a lot from other countries. But what ever we do, you learn a lot by doing it. It¿s not copying anything from each other or stealing from each other. If something is good you have to learn from it and do it.
20: 47 I think that maybe if we hadn¿t done anything at the time, maybe you wouldn¿t be seeing the rhino here. but you can say we started at the right time.
21:19 For me, Terai Arc is already there. I won¿t say we will be creating Terai Arc; we are already working in Terai Arc. Chitwan is Terai Arc, Bardia is Terai Arc and the corridors within this area are Terai Arc. So we are already there. The biggest jewel in this necklace is right where you are standing. The Chitwan national park
22:17 Now we are doing about tiger, camera-trapping them for identify indiv. tigers by the photographs. Before we count by footprints. Every number is on here, by the footprints... that¿s very hard to do, not easy. But now, since 1994, it was we found 107 tigers, altogether, include with Bardia, 117 tigers, you know.
23:31 24:07 when you conserve or protect the tiger, you have to protect its habitat, it¿s prey species, and that means everything.
24:22 ¿ another guy: then we found it was more than that I think¿.????says something inaudible¿¿????t understand rest of name)
28:39 ¿ 33:40 ambi in the area¿nice birds, gentle ambi
31:08 rooster and other good birds
32:17 good rooster
32:30 good rooster
32:42 VG weird sound¿.not sure what it is ¿Peacock?
BODY MICS ¿ HOTEL IN CHITWAN
34:03 ¿ 34:25 traditional Taru dance
VG 34:51 ¿ 38:38 more dance ¿ loud drums
VG 39:07 ¿ 47:09 dancing with singing
VG 47:29 ¿ 58:42 Dancing with drums and tamborine (?) and singing
(about trolls bringing them into the mango swamps ??)
59:20 END OF DAT