1 Tahrcountry Musings: Guest post from Ramesh

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Guest post from Ramesh

Here is another guest post from Ramesh.

Aldo Leopold, the father of wildlife management once wrote “Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now we face the question whether a still higher "standard of living" is worth its cost in things natural, wild, and free. For us of in the minority, the opportunity to see geese is more important than television, and the chance to find a pasque-flower is a right as inalienable as free speech.”

My recent visit to some of the wildlife reserves of Kerala makes me wonder whether most of the managers, managing the wildlife reserves, are really aware of what they are doing. Most of the guys I met are foresters with no deep roots in wildlife management. How come the state Government is not sending these guys at least for short term courses in wildlife management? Some of the costly mistake they are doing right now could be avoided with proper training. My friend Mohanji once told me “If you want to know exactly what to do with landscape management you should know what are the requirements of the animals that you manage, you should be able to think like an animal. For example your boss asks you to make water holes. Does the species that you manage needs water at the specific points mentioned by your boss? To come to proper conclusion you should read everything that you can lay your hands on, concerning the ecology and behaviour of the animals that you manage. Here comes the appropriateness of the idea of thinking like an animal”. How many of our manager guys read the latest literature?

 I am still baffled why the Government does not send the guys for management training at the Wildlife Institute. The institute is finding it difficult to get trainee officers. The entire expenses are born by the central Government. Is it tardiness from the Government officials or are the guys unwilling to let go their cushy posting? Where is the hitch?

 I keep on hearing about the unnecessary thrust on eco-tourism. This in the long run will only harm the wildlife and the environment. Eco-tourism is a nice management tool but let us not kill the golden goose. I also hear about the idea of introduction of exotic fishes in the water bodies of the wildlife reserves? Is it being done after a proper study of the ecological implications?

 I am a wee bit pessimistic about the future of wildlife in Kerala. When charlatans manage wildlife reserves, by-passing properly trained guys the future looks very bleak indeed.

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