BHUBANESWAR: The Odisha government has inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) to prepare a Comprehensive Wildlife Management Plan for the entire State.
WTI would prepare a comprehensive wildlife management plan for protection and management of rich wildlife resources and many endangered wildlife species inhabiting the forests and aquatic eco-systems of the state.
The plan will be prepared at a cost of Rs 3.65 crore and completed within 15 months.
The MoU was signed between the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (WL), Odisha Chief Wildlife Warden and the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) here on Friday.
Currently, only protected areas including 19 wildlife sanctuaries and two national parks have management plans. These protected areas cover 10.37 per cent of State’s forest area and 5.36 per cent of the total geographical area of the State.
However, given the rising man-animal conflict in the State, movement of wildlife outside sanctuary areas, destruction of habitats and corridors outside the PAs and poaching have necessitated the management plan.
The proposed plan would identify and map key biological resources and their connectivity across the landscape, restore degraded or lost habitats essential for animals’ persistence and movement, reduce animal mortality due to man-animal conflicts, electrocution and train accidents.
It would also promote conservation of wildlife at the grassroots level, optimise manpower and infrastructure requirements of the state for prevention of wildlife crimes and better prosecution.