NPR/NGS Radio Expeditions
- Royal Bardia National Park; Tiger Tops
- 28.38333 81.5
Stereo=1; Decoded MS stereo
Log of DAT #: 21
Engineer: Bill McQuay
Date: April 2001
ng = not good
ok = okay
g = good
vg = very good
Tsering interview 1:15 ¿ 19:10
1:15 they are bonded laborers who have been released by the gov¿t recently. Those are the huge threats that we are facing. Very big challenges to the Terai Arc project. Huge encroachment by landless people. Like the people I was pointing out to you yesterday. They are now homeless and landless. They are being freed from bonded labor by the government a couple months back, but there was no rehabilitation. So they are just trying to take land anywhere and settle anywhere. It is of course a very sad situation, but we can not lose the forest areas everywhere. We need to conserve the areas according to a management plan, a strategy. So the government should also have a proper resettlement plan for them on appropriate land, and we should be able to conserve the land we want to conserve. The bottle necks are the other critical threats. We have identified areas of critical threats which need immediate interventions. Those are the places where this kind of people are trying to move in. So if we don¿t act now, these places will be lost forever.
3:10 The other challenges we have to face, like political forces. Just the lack of awareness, of motivation about conservation issues ¿ the conservation of the forest, the conservation of the watershed areas which is so important for the Terai, the plains of Nepal. Which is where the rice, the grains are produced. There isn¿t the proper kind of planning here happening for the conservation. Other challenges would be the free grazing, the huge numbers of livestock. These are mostly unproductive local livestock which do not need to be kept by the people, but can not be slaughtered by the laws of Nepal. Cows can not be slaughtered, according to Hindu law, so they are just being allowed to graze free in the forest. So there are problems like this, the problems of poverty the problem of restricted resource use, where people have been restricted from using the resources of the forest so they will just enter illegally the national forest and take whatever they can without responsibility.
4:35 Then, one of the biggest threats is just lack of awareness. It¿s important to conserve what we have now. Economically, we are poor. We do not have many resources, but we have these forests, our wealth in bio-diversity, our tigers, and our mountains. We have to conserve these and right now, it¿s going to be gone otherwise. That¿s why the Terai Arc land is very important to us.
5:16 The Terai Arc plan is for the conservation of protected areas, those are national parks and preserves, and forests, and not just forests but multiple land-use concepts. Such as, the conservation of areas, such as agri-forest areas and even sugarcane plantations. Sugarcane plantations where tigers can move, so this is for the dispersal of tigers and wildlife. So it can be, it is beneficial to people and wildlife. And where forest conservation by people is concerned, the people have to be involved. Also, the government does not have the resources to manage a huge tract of forest by themselves, which has also caused degradation and destruction of national forest b/c they don¿t have the manpower to look after it. Then there is massive degradation from people coming in, encroaching, using the resources w/out any responsibility.
6:46 So it has to be actually many strategies; it has to be protected areas management, it has to be community forest outside of protected areas, working with local communities for the protection of the forest, it has to be a strong motivation for conservation and awareness about those issues. And it is possible to have that awareness, we can see it even in an place like this, the buffer zone area around the Royal Bardia National Park, the buffer zone around the Royal Chitwan national park. We have done a lot of work, the gov¿t has done a lot of work with the WWF on community involvement. These are people who have lived for generations w/ this wildlife proximity and we know, that there has to be loss, there will be conflict. But it has to be minimized, it has to be control. And the people have to get some benefit in some way from the conservation of the wildlife and then they can become appreciative of the wildlife, appreciate of the tiger, even when they sometimes have losses.
8:07 ¿It is going to be very hard, but what we are quite aware of right now is that if we don¿t do it, it will be lost. There will won¿t ever be a time in the future when you can start anything like this. But this time. I have looked all along these areas of forest connectivity. This is a plan to bring about trans-boundary cooperation between India and Nepal, these are protected areas in India and Nepal, and it is all doubled up with India and the gov¿t people along the border are all quite positive. So we have very positive indications that we can achieve success, but it has to be done now.
9:06 I suppose we are. But for us right now, Nepal is a very small country. We want to hold onto what we have, you know? That is the most important thing right now. If we are, it¿s a good thing.
10:38 the reason for this is very simple: the women have always been direct users of forest resources. The other ones who will go and collect the grass and the wood. They will be chopping the wood. And others will gather the water. And then the traditional system when it comes to decision-making on the community-level about what are we going to do about conservation development issues about the forest, about so on or whatever, it is the men who come together and make the decisions. But it is the women who are, of course the men, too, but the women really are the direct resource users. They know about the things involved, so they need to have a voice in the decisions, and this is part of the work we are doing here. And also, here in Nepal there is now in food production, in many of the villages the people aren¿t able to produce enough food to last the whole year, so the families have to send a family members, usually the men, to the city, urban areas even abroad to work for labor. We have people who have to go Saudi Arabia as laborers. It¿s not a happy situation, they are exploited you know. Even in the cities, they work in appalling conditions. So in many villages, at least for half the year, it is only women. So they should be the ones making the decisions, not a few men who are left behind.
13:50 If the people had other opportunities, if the people were able to go to the cities to get proper jobs, and in the urban areas. If the people were really able to develop their agricultural practices, and if you had really good soil everywhere, maybe these thing might be possible. But what you see right now, many of the rural people are suffering from food deficits for six months or less, but at least that time. We have people migrating seasonally, even years at a time, to where ever they can work; abroad, here in Nepal, in India, as laborers, in really bad positions, because the opportunities aren¿t being made available in Nepal. The gov¿t does not have the resources, too. It doesn¿t have so much revenue to be earned to provide these.
14:46 You have been to the urban areas, you have seen what it¿s like. If the people can have a better life, can have health care, a proper education, infrastructure, irrigation, water supply in their villages and they can create this healthy environment for themselves with the forest management and conservation, it is not necessary that they should go to the urban areas for a worse lifestyle, because that is what¿s happening today. And if we can conserve what we have right now, our landscapes, our wildlife, it can also be used for economic reasons. B/c tourism, besides farming, and it¿s mostly subsistence farming, b/c the soils are not, it¿s only in some parts of the country that the soils are rich, in the mountains are very poor. So tourism, besides subsistence farming, is our largest employment generator right now, it¿s our main source of foreign exchange earnings. Besides that, the country doesn¿t have much else. We are very rich biologically, so we are not really poor. But yes, we are poor economically.
16:16 The environment, it is the earth¿s environment. It isn¿t just Nepal¿s, not just ours. The people coming here for a holiday also partake of it, but it is more than that. It is for the conservation of bio-diversity. Even for India, it is for the conservation of their water that goes down into India. The environment is linked in every way to every person, every species, every human on this earth. I think it¿s everybody¿s responsibility. And in Nepal, we need the support. We are quite aware that we need the support. People who are working in conservation are aware of the huge challenges that we face, and we need as much support as we can from the outside world, from our people here. B/c it¿s everybody¿s actually.
17:28 No, it¿s not too late now. You have seen what we have now and it¿s not too late. But it¿s just now, you know. If you do not do anything now, it¿s too late
17:54 No, I think it came up through discussion of the people who have been working on this. I heard about it since, at least now, it¿s been half a year¿ I don¿t know, I was away for a year¿ it¿s a great plan.
19:10 ¿ 21:01 All MS - Ambi recorded outside of Tiger Top¿s rooms in Bardia.
21:24 Walking ambi
22:40 Walking in water
24:43 Sifting lentils or wind in grain (?)
25:24 Man speaking, sharp threshing
26:42 They are working from 4 o¿clock this morning and the information that I received is the same case ¿ they saw some pieces coming outside and just b/c of that poison and except a few wild animals, they didn¿t see anything, no people, not crazy, everything is alright. So the next patrol is coming at 1 o¿clock.
27:15 Yeah, there are some rhino poaching time and this is the one. People have no work, they are free, that is number one. Number two is that it is festival and some people believe, it is old belief actually, that they have to go and hunt and that makes them brave. That is their belief, actually, old belief. Few people still believe that. We have to be alert in this period.
28:13 Okay, poison is very ?? thing and it¿s a fast thing. If there¿s a shooting occurs, then there¿s an anxious about getting caught with that sound. And poison is ??? and it¿s fast. So, it is widely used for wild animals, for rhinos and tigers. Especially for tigers they use poison, b/c if there is a shooting, that¿s bad and it spoils the skin. And they don¿t get good money. Skin and bone, both, so they prefer poison. And that is poacher business that one dollar of poison is enough to kill one tiger.
29:18 That is the water, actually, if this was deep, we found one week before. Fish dying there¿ They put in water where they think that there are fish. And secondly, for the tiger and rhino, for the tiger they put it in the dead animal, the domestic animal they are killing and putting poison. They find out where the tiger is, the water point and the activities, the territory of the tiger, and they are putting the dead animal there with poison. For rhinos, it is cucumbers, pumpkin, they put poison in it and they keep that in that part of territory¿ In some cases the elephants are the target. They don¿t put, not intentionally, but they are killed mistakenly.
31:10 ¿ 32:40 Ambi
32:48 vg Opening squeaking car door, slamming.
32:59 More slams.
35:15 Revving car engine.
36:53 this is my cottage, our house. Then she came to ?? here. When she came here, nobody was able to say where she had gone. But no people had any information about that. But when we get information about that, we can call headquarters with our ??? and we saw our cloths are there and some, what¿s the word?¿ the bushes were torn apart and the area was distorted¿
38:54 Nepalese¿ what happened was, normally this lady has just moved into this village. As she didn¿t have a toilet, she wanted to go inside to use the toilet. And she has two sons, one is Christian and one is Hindu. She herself is pure Brahmin, wearing those rags. So she always worried what would happen with the two sons.
39:39 She went to the toilet, they saw her going in, but they never saw her coming back. When she didn¿t come back for the night, they felt very worried and called the park and the park people came w/ their elephants and they started looking for here where they said she had gone in.
40:08 when they went inside, first the cloths were torn into pieces where they were dragging. First they saw the scene and then the pool of the kill, that¿s what they found out.
40:30 the first thing, they didn¿t know what had attacked the women. So what they did was, they had some suspects; either it could be leopards b/c this is a leopard territory or it could be a leopard. So they said they don¿t know. To find out, let¿s leave the copse behind and set up the camera traps to see what it is. Normally what we do is we keep the corpse as bait w/out touching by humans or coming near to it. We re-bait that, that¿s what we do. And if it¿s a kill, a real kill, it comes back. the tiger comes back, or the leopard, to eat the whole stuff.
41:35 Now, looking at the pawprints, they determined it was a tigress, and w/ the camera trap, we have 9 shots , yes, photographs, that¿s how, they are taking out the prints now, but they don¿t know really if they have identified the tiger before or not. Based on the Tiger Tops saying there is a limp mark, there¿s a limp mark on her finger.
42:23 She is still hungry, seems to be hungry and this morning, our surveillance people saw the tigress and a kill. She killed a cheetah, spotted deer. And the kill, what they found was the kill. And this is put on so the tigress is not coming back.
42:42 This is a buffer zone, Yes, that¿s the house, the one to your right and side. Um-hum. the tiger¿s still out there.
43:15 What he says is, we don¿t know if this is the only tiger that is prey on, feeding on that corpse or killing the spotted deer. If it don¿t match, if the legs don¿t match, though they have seen it, they are trying to locate other tigers around this area, setting up camera traps.
43:40 ¿Normally, I don¿t know if you¿ve heard the story. Tigers never make a kill humans b/c they are too salty. So normally they¿ll kill where there is water very nearby. And I was asking if there was water nearby and he said yes. And with a leopard kill, normally they¿ll hide the kill on top of the tree, whereas the tigers will take it into the shade and hide it where no one can see it, where only they know the place. And it relaxes by the river, the water hole where ever it is, it¿s not that far, where the kill is. And it can have a look and rest between the kill and the water body. Whereas the leopards will take the kill up there and they can go far, far away b/c they don¿t worry about anything talking the kill.
45:33 ¿it was from the paw marks. Normally there will be the footprints. And these were tiger footprints, not leopard. That was the first sign. And it was about a kilometer straight from here, under a bush. Around a kilometer from here.
46:10 Yeah, the villagers¿ what they have felt is, they haven¿t said anything when they left the first time, the corpse, they requested to be eaten for the tiger to come back. Normally we¿ll have to request for the body to be there, for our own reasons as well. And they have coped w/ it and now they are looking for, the park people has strengthened what was there before. So what they believe is the park authorities doing lots of work, having these things going on. The elephants are out here, the surveillance going on, we¿re checking on the tiger. So they believe we are going to remove or do something with the tiger, anyway. And that will cure and help them out w/ some fund, whereas the endowment fund is there to help them out.
47:40 Two days ago¿ She was cremated yesterday afternoon ¿Nepalese¿ It¿s been a traditional system putting those white linings like this. We believe the tigers will never jump across or crawl through, if you see it, they can¿t crawl through. It¿ll never crawl through or tear apart. From the old days, whenever you wanted to trap a tiger, this technology¿s been used. We know, the movement, we see the kill is still there in the morning. It hasn¿t come across the border where this linings are. That¿s why we have set the linings¿ around 600-700 meters is the length.
49:27 ¿It would not become a man-eater if it kills only one person. But if we see the limp or we have to look at the condition of the tiger now. If it could lead towards man-eating, that is, he or she could be limp, limping, come to its own kill. But now, looking at the spotted deer kill, she can hunt. She should be healthy, not old. If she¿s too old, if she is finding this territory as a safe site, this is another indication of becoming a man-eater because she wants where the preys are easily available, that is the human beings and the cattle. So the puzzle really has to be put in, really, to identify what this tiger is.
51:02 I was asking him, do you think the tiger will kill again? He said, ¿We don¿t know yet. We are monitoring. If it kills, it can move from another place to a new place and cause a kill and that can cause trouble.
51:28 Normally, we tranquilize it. And send it to the zoo. We don¿t shoot a tiger until it¿s necessary. Legally, it¿s not allowed. And if it attacks while it¿s tranquilized or the medicine doesn¿t work. Sometimes with tigers it doesn¿t work, like the one w/ the incident we had to kill b/c it jumped in the elephant when it was hit, tranquilized¿ Most of the man-eaters, we¿ve been able to put in the zoo, except for 2, 3 we had to kill down. Normally, we capture it and send it to the zoo.
52:34 human kill was 199.. two years ago. That was really outside the park, not inside the park¿ Inside the park? 5 years, Yeah, it¿s rare.
52:57 No. That was the other side of the highway, not this village, where they killed four, no? He or she killed 4 people¿ three people there and one inside.
53:19 First thing we try to convince them is, don¿t come inside the park, b/c it¿s not their territory. Their territory is their home. And we try to build fences and it¿s them again who destroy everything. So we request sometimes, saying don¿t do things that they can harm you and you complain us. B/c yes, if they are inside, then they don¿t have a say. But if the killing is outside, we¿ll have a big conflict b/c they¿ll say, your pets came outside, that¿s what they¿ll say and we¿ll have a difficult time solving that problem, that case. But when it¿s inside the forest, normally it¿s easier b/c they are violating the rights to come inside the park.
54:21 Not really, it depends on the prey base. If we have less prey, that will be the cause. But we have plenty of food for them inside. If they are healthy enough to kill. If they are not healthy enough, that¿s a margin area, this is where they come to get the easy prey out of them. That¿s the basic thing. But with the people, we have been working with them. It seems like we need more projects, like having toilet constructions. This could be one of our advantages, saying on the edge, we need more toilets so they don¿t have to go into the forest. Even for firewood, we tell them agri-forestry or lots of projects so they can have it in their own fields. But if they are poor and they can¿t afford to have bio-gas or any of the sort, then we need to think of other alternatives for them.
55:27 Yeah, more toilets, and educate more. Education and make them aware that they shouldn¿t be doing things. he has been to the village and talked to the people¿ what he says is when he went to say, it is our fault we shouldn¿t be going inside, we shouldn¿t have gone in side the forest for the toilet. If we had the toilet, we wouldn¿t make the mistake. So they are on the law side¿ and he said, he told the people, we will support you in some way to help your family out. The park is doing the best to talk w/ them and check w/ them. No¿
57:05 ¿he said like, he saw her going at, like, 3 o¿clock in the afternoon, but they didn¿t know where she went¿ he has got the feeling that if that tigress were captured and sent to the zoo, that would be better.
58:35 ¿Yeah, they feel scared, like they can¿t come out¿ what they are saying is this is their first experience seeing the white cloth being put up, so now they know that preventative measures are being taken care of.
59:22 ¿what he was trying to say if that previously there were projects trying to help them. It¿s the Territory for Pax People program who supports this particular area. They have been here for 30 years in this, you can see the condition, they have not improved a bit. But here, they have good land holding. I also asked them, why did you break the trenches, which was a barrier for anything to come in and they said they haven¿t renovated it and plus sometimes the flash flood comes in from this river and that destroys everything. So they are in groups, but sometimes people tell them, we don¿t have projects, so they¿re not working with them.
1:02:10 They can¿t sleep in the night b/c they are worried about it, the tiger might come out again. That¿s what they think, feel sad about it. They¿ve been having such kinds of problems with the elephants raiding before b/c they are right at the margins. This is the area where large herds of elephants also do lots of damage¿
1:02:54 This is the same village, an elephant came and killed a girl¿ about a month ago ¿What happened was, this 11-yr-old girl actually came out to pee behind her house and she encounter elephant right away, she couldn¿t shout or anything. Elephants always feel humans as a threatens. They feel humans as a threat as well, so they don¿t feel secure. So she grabbed the girl and threw the girl and that smashed her head and she was unconscious for a long time so they took her to the hospital and she died on the way.
1:04:08 ¿This was interesting. They were once, I¿ll show you, I¿ll take you around there tomorrow, they¿ve been resettled outside, now inside the park. And when we did the extension of the park, they have been resettled right outside. So they have been together with the wild animals for quite a long time¿
1:06:09 what happened was, this particular patch of land that you see, before they did the resettlement this used to be the government land. And the hill, some of the big shot from hill migrants said that, this land, I own it. Actually he didn¿t but he fought in the court saying, this is my land, so if you want a piece of the land, you have to pay me. So they started paying the landlord just to have a piece of the land, though they were the right owners. So they bought the land. And those who could not afford to buy the land, you see them on the highway. All the way as you are coming towards they are all the resettlers who don¿t have any land or anywhere to go, they are the squatters. So they managed to buy off the land off the landlord and they are now here.
1:07:10 No, they don¿t have any money to buy new lands, unless we can shift them to a new place and we don¿t have a place for them to here. Yeah, toilets and other projects. That¿s what the programs are here for actually, to minimize this conflict and help the, out, just to be in partnership with the programs and help them out. We can I think, I¿ll not promise, but we can do something for the toilets in this village.
1:07:46 ¿No, they are not coming out from the house, they are too scared to do anything. So they are staying in the house after it¿s dark and only coming out after it¿s light.
1:9:30 They need requesting for development work b/c you can see they were inside the forest and looking at the condition, they haven¿t improved their lifestyle. Though they have boring they don¿t have the power to spend the money to buy the fuel and stuff. So we have to do it on a subsidy, who ever the project comes, to recommend that and have somebody to oversee the plans properly and have watch hours here. And do alternate crops like mint plantation where we are doing that on the other side. So maybe replicate that on the ridge and generate income as well out of it. B/c they are not doing any farming, they are leaving it like that b/c elephants would ruin and they wouldn¿t have any crops.
1:10:20 They do rice, that¿s what they do, sell rice, or do labor work outside¿ Nepalese¿ Most of them go to India to do labor work to earn money b/c they can¿t save crops. When it is lush green, it is the deers that comes and eats everything up and they don¿t have the money to spend it again to redo it. And they are only getting 50% of the crop right now.
1:11:18 they need help in the toilets if possible and boring good facility. So they can do with alternate crops and manage on their own with some of the programs and maintain the trenches
1:11:35 Names: Chundra Nathkula, Thanit Nathkur, 30 years, This is Shumapor VDC, Village Development Committee, Ward 2. Village named Latua.
1:15:54 ¿1:17:05 Wind? Water? Threshing?
1: 17:37 Yes, all from poachers. Guns, if you see, they are all locally made. People actually go to India; they are not locally made here. Here, we have one sub-gun here and the rest are rifles of the same design. And the rest are bullets. These all are improvised, they make themselves. .
18:24 These are the powders, gunpowders, and poisons. They use for the poison and the powder¿ ¿and bullets, see. About 20 were confiscated, these here, severally over 12, 15 years.
1:19:19 No, that is not, we don¿t have any so far, and we don¿t expect hem for the next couple of years guns are just of this kind. And they are not bad, they are not bad. Yeah. They fire close range. These are locally made; buy some iron rod, cut like this, put more gunpowder down here. It¿s 15, 20, 25 yards is the range that they are firing. So, they know the vulnerable parts of the animal, the tiger, rhino. They don¿t shoot randomly.
1:20:24 The soft part, that is, eyes, ears, of course, head. Smart person, one shot make the rhinos down. some times they are, like they are, what do you call this? And when the try to, then the whole powder is bust there and then their face is spoiled.
1:21:22 No, they actually, they told us the story. They told us the story when the were arrested, not immediately when they were injured, but later. Some of them were arrested.
1:21:23 That we clear¿yeah, you can do it¿
1:22:30 yeah, we have them.. these rifles, the guy who I talking about, who fired seven rhinos, he was sincere that he went to the jungle and he recovered two rifles that he had hide. The interesting things is that when they enter the park, they don¿t have rifles. And when they are out, they don¿t have them. They have a beautiful hollow tree and they wrap up w/ plastics and it is loaded, ready, and they hide. That is about 1 ½, 2 km from the border. So when they come out, they come out empty, they come out w/out guns. And even when they are arrested, they say they came in to pick grass, or herbs, or got lost.
1:23:26 It is hard for me, I have to call a guy¿ but he recovered, it was not necessary. He was a sincere guy. He recovered two.
1:23:54 Oh it will be terrible. I have heard that it is in Chitwan. But not exactly as that AK-47, but they have assault gun and rifle. These are, rifle, if they have a rifle it is very difficult. Yeah.
1:24:50 And these new rifles you can see a couple of them, 3,4,5,6,7,8, these all were confiscated recently. New, like this one is there. One cost 3,000 to 15,000 .
1:25:32 We have a small place to keep them. We brought here just to show you. The poison they buy from the store (?). Gunpowder is different.
1:26:06 for killing rats and some they use for agriculture .
1:29:33 END DAT 21