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Arunachal Gets STPF After Decline in Tiger Numbers

Indian Masterminds Stories

Arunachal Pradesh, home to three tiger reserves namely Pakke, Namdapha and Kamlang, will now have its own tiger protection force after the state Cabinet approved the constitution of Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) for all three tiger reserves. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had approved the constitution of STPF for all three TRs in December last year itself with a direction that it must be established as per NTCA guidelines.

Dr. Damodhar A.T. (IFS)


Director, DDBR, Office of the Chief Wildlife Warden, Arunachal Pradesh Dr. Damodhar A.T. said that the creation of STPF is expected to boost the wildlife conservation efforts of the state forest department and strengthen the frontline force in preventing illegal activities in the protected areas.
While the rest of India is celebrating an increasing number of tigers, Arunachal Pradesh is facing the decline of tiger population. The 50th tiger reserve situated in the Lohit district of the state, Kamlang Tiger Reserve, reported ‘0’ presence of tiger in the 2023 census. Whereas, there were four tigers present in 2019.

Recently tiger was killed by the poachers in Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh.


Similarly, the Namdapha Tiger Reserve showed the presence of only 1 tiger in 2023, while in 2019, the number was at 11. Only the Pakke Tiger Reserve in East Kemang district has showed an increase in the tiger number. While the total number was 5 in 2019, it has reached to 7 in the latest census report.
Dr. Damodhar said that the decline of tigers in Kamlang and Namdapha could be due to poaching. In such a situation, the need for STPF was felt greatly as the specially trained personnel of this force will be of big help in assisting the forest officers in carrying out eviction of encroachers from the notified protected areas.
The proposal for creation of the STPF in Arunachal was initiated way back in 2012 itself. However, due to certain administrative reasons, its creation got delayed.
The recruitment for the STPF would be done through Arunachal Pradesh Staff Selection Board (APSSB) for Group-C posts and Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission (APPSC) for Group-A and Group-B posts in consultation with the Arunachal Pradesh Environment, Forest & Climate Change Department.
The recruitment to the posts of Special Tiger Guards of the STPF companies would be done directly, while the STPF Assistant Conservator of Forests and the STPF Range Forest Officers would be posted to the Force from the Environment, Forest and Climate Change department of the state, on their own pay scale.
The funding will also be slightly different. Dr. Damodhar said, “Ninety percent funding will be from the central government and 10% from the state share. While in other mainland states, it is 60:40, as far as I know.”


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