Ranthambhore National Park Current Affairs - 2020

CAG Report: 40% of Environment Related Crimes in India are from Rajasthan

On March 6, 2020, the Comptroller and Auditor General tabled the report for the year that ended on 31st March 2018 (2017-18). The report was tabled in the assembly. According to the report, between 2014 and 2016, 40% of environmental crimes in India were from Rajasthan.

Key Findings of the Report

The report pointed out that Wildlife Crime Control units were not established in the state. The crimes violated Forest (Conservation) act and Wildlife Protect Act.

Between 2014 and 2016, the number of environmental crimes registered in the country were 15,723 and those registered in Rajasthan were 6,382.

Forest Reserves

The Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve and Sariska Tiger Reserve were not regulated due to the absence of Local Advisory Committee. In Ranthambhore, 5 out of 10 core areas were not closed in monsoon season.

Irritants

The CAG identified several irritants to the wild life in the area. The Abheda Biological Park in Kota had garbage dumping yard nearby. The other concerns were firing range of the army, industrial areas and slums.

Tigers in India face lurking threat from Canine Distemper Virus

According to recent study published in Threatened Taxa, tigers face glooming threat from Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) transmitted from CDV-infected dogs living in and around wildlife sanctuaries. It has found that 86% of tested dogs around Ranthambhore National Park in Rajasthan carried CDV antibodies in their bloodstream. This finding points out that there is increased risk of disease transfer from the dogs to tigers and leopards that live in the park. In 2018, over 20 lions from Gir Wildlife Sanctuary had died due to canine distemper virus infection.

About Canine Distemper Virus

It is highly contagious viral disease that attacks gastrointestinal, respiratory, central nervous systems, immune system and other vital organs of wide variety of animal species, including dogs, coyotes, foxes, pandas and wolves. In most of the cases, this infection is fatal. It is also known as hardpad disease. It is considered dangerous virus and is blamed for wiping out 30% population of African lions in East African forests.

Cause: It is caused by single-stranded RNA virus of family Paramyxoviridae (the same family of viruses that causes mumps, measles, and bronchiolitis in humans). This virus is similar to measles virus in humans and rinderpest virus which affects cattle.

Transmission: It is highly contagious via inhalation and can also be transmitted by shared food and water bowls and equipment.

Treatment/Diagnosis: There is no cure for canine distemper infection. Its treatment typically consists of supportive care and generic efforts to prevent infections.

Way Forward

As a precautionary measure, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has prepared guideline to prevent the spillover of this viral disease to wild animals. Free-ranging and domestic dogs in the area around national parks should be vaccinated which will help to reduce chances of disease spillover to wildlife.