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regular-article-logo Thursday, 18 April 2024

Similipal National Park to get cutting-edge long-range cameras to safeguard biodiversity

These sophisticated cameras, strategically positioned, will provide real-time surveillance, offering crucial insights into potential fire incidents, particularly during the scorching summer months

Subhashish Mohanty Bhubaneswar Published 25.02.24, 08:05 AM
A melanistic tiger in Similipal.

A melanistic tiger in Similipal. File picture

Authorities of the Similipal National Park have decided to deploy cutting-edge long-range cameras throughout the reserve to safeguard the precious flora and fauna.

These sophisticated cameras, strategically positioned, will provide real-time surveillance, offering crucial insights into potential fire incidents, particularly during the scorching summer months.

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The primary aim behind this initiative is to protect the park’s diverse ecosystem, including its burgeoning tiger population, from the ravages of wildfires that often plague the region.

The long-range cameras boast a remarkable 30km coverage radius and a full 360-degree rotation, ensuring comprehensive monitoring of the park’s vast expanse. These cameras will be seamlessly integrated into the park’s surveillance network via wireless connections, facilitating swift response measures from the central control room. Additionally, drones will be deployed to assess the extent of fire damage, enhancing the authorities’ ability to combat potential threats effectively.

Expressing the gravity of the situation, Prakash Chandra Gogineni, regional chief conservator of forests for Similipal National Park, emphasised the necessity of preemptive action. “We have devised a comprehensive roadmap to mitigate the risks of fire incidents during the upcoming summer season,” said Gogineni told The Telegraph. “Installation of five to six long-range cameras coupled with drone assistance forms the cornerstone of our strategy to safeguard the park’s biodiversity.”

To foster community involvement, awareness campaigns have been conducted, including gram sabhas, to educate local residents about the importance of preserving the ecological balance. Resolutions passed during these gatherings underscore the collective commitment to refrain from activities that could potentially ignite fires within the park boundaries.

Addressing concerns regarding the safety of the park’s tiger population, Gogineni said the core habitat, characterised by its abundant moisture, serves as a natural barrier against encroaching flames. However, he stressed the importance of vigilance amidst escalating fire risks.

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