With Naxalite activities no more a matter of concern, authorities of Dalma wildlife sanctuary in Jamshedpur will go ahead with the installation of trap cameras in winter.
Dalma divisional forest officer C.M.P. Sinha said they installed three cameras on a trial basis recently and the project will go ahead in October or November.
“Monsoon is not the right time to install trap cameras, even though the gadgets are waterproof,” he said.
Cameras will be set up at strategic locations across the 192 sq km sanctuary.
“The cameras will be set up near watering holes and some watch towers. The locations would be helpful in keeping a tab on the animals, including elephants,” the DFO told The Telegraph Online.
According to him, the trap cameras will also help in minimising poaching and tree felling.
“Though poaching is not an issue at the sanctuary, we have instances of tree felling that can now be controlled in an effective manner,” Sinha added.
A trap camera is a remotely activated camera equipped with a motion sensor or an infrared sensor.
It captures wild animals on film.
The gadgets are ready for installation, kept in Makulakocha, the gateway to the sprawling elephant abode.
Forest authorities had planned to install the gadgets last year but shelved it for fear of their being stolen or destroyed by Naxalites.
Sources said long range patrolling (LRP) by paramilitary forces at Dalma and on its periphery last year had made foresters believe that the extremists were wary of cameras, lest their activities be filmed.
The LRP was undertaken after rebels killed five policemen at Khokro Haat in Seraikela-Kharsawan on June 14 last year.
Moreover, the Dalma hills, home of Asiatic elephants, had witnessed an encounter between Maoists and paramilitary forces at Konkadasa jungle in 2018.
However, in recent months, the rebel threat has almost ceased to exist in the sanctuary, and foresters are confident that they can go ahead with the installation of cameras.
A forester ranger said they could go ahead with setting up cameras at the sanctuary.
“Right now, trackers, or village youths hired as daily wagers, keep tabs on the movement of animals. The cameras will help track animals and illegal activity even in remote locations,” he said.