Conservation of forests and their biodiversity is very important especially after the UN report that said that a million species may be extinct very soon. This makes the jobs of forest officers and guards of great consequence.
Forest is not an easy place to live or work in. With various herbivores and carnivores walking in the territory, the lives of the guards patrolling the forests are always at risk. While they may even figure out ways to stay safe from bigger animals, it is impossible to be completely protected from sneaky lizards and other reptiles that might prove lethal to them.
However, with increased poaching incidents in the forests, and the need to conserve wildlife, the job cannot be ignored.
India is home to close to half of the world’s Tiger population. Initiatives have been launched to conserve these big wild cats. M-STrIPES which stands for Monitoring System for Tigers-Intensive Protection and Ecological Status is one of them.
The model of M-Stripes was developed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in 2010 which transformed into an app in 2018.
An Indian Forest Services (IFoS) Officer Ramesh Pandey introduced the app in Dudhwa Tiger Reserve and have displayed outstanding results in its year-long usage.
The user-friendly app, basically takes the user’s route using GPS while tracking the time a guard has spent patrolling. The user can also upload photos and selfies on the app’s database, which solves two purposes—help authorities track who goes in the forest. Secondly, clicking photos of pugmarks, animals, birds, and reptiles shows how specific species are thriving in their territories.
The authorities can then monitor these activities and know who was working in the forest at what time. Apart from this, they can also figure out an unpatrolled gap in the day which they then try to fill it.
In a year since its introduction, there are over 200 guards who use this app in Dudhwa. This has not only helped the authorities in keeping better track of the movements of the guards to ensure their safety but also has been instrumental in identifying and catching 200 poachers in a year.
This piece is part of a series for celebrating the applaud-worthy contributions by the bureaucrats and civil servants of India.
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The CSR Journal Team