This is the most important management strategy adopted in N.S.T.R. There are 58 Base Camps (23 in Atmakur, 22 in Markapur, 6 in Giddalur and 7 in Nandyal Division) which are located in strategic points. The members of base camp are mainly of local Chenchu (Tribals) Lambada (Tribals) and fringe villagers who patrol on foot extensively in their respective jurisdiction. They stay in the base camp located in the forests day and night for 26 days a month.
They perambulate the water holes, salt licks, grass lands, trails with free and special focus on the areas which are frequented by Tigers. They are supplied with a register where they write their daily sightings of wildlife direct or indirect. They take the pugmarks of tigers on transparent sheets and then on tiger monitoring register and Plaster of paris. They are guided concerned forest section staff. Tiger trackers, another type of protection watchers, track the trails of tigers and report to the field officials. They also perambulate the area and follow the trails of tigers on foot patrolling.
Striking Forces, which are headed by a Forest Section Officer, have 5 Protection Watchers each. They are placed at strategic points and are ready responsive units to act fast on any adverse information. These special protection watchers monitor the water sources on daily basis to prevent poaching attempts on high alert.
All the base camps are located in such a way that daily monitoring can be done in all the water sources, salt licks, sites of previous kills by Tiger / Panther, sites of Pugmarks, sites where snares were found earlier, village outskirts, paths, grass lands etc.,
The base camps are provided with solar lighting. The Protection Watchers of Base Camps, Striking Forces, Check Posts and Tiger Trackers have been provided with Jungle Shoes, Uniforms, Windcheaters and Mosquito nets for making themselves comfortable in the forests and for extensive foot patrolling. Most priority is given for Chenchus followed Sugali tribes in these protection parties as the people are accustomed to life in forests and co-existence with wildlife.
The primary duties of each patrolling base camp are:
- Camping in the Tiger Reserve 24x7 which deters the poaching and smuggling attempts by offenders.
- Foot patrolling in all the trail paths, vulnerable routes, Tiger dense areas, area with abundant herbivore population, along the streams.
- Checking all the water bodies and salt licks for presence of snares, traps, any suspicious change in colour and smell of water in the water bodies, other wildlife crime evidences etc.
- Checking of tiger kills, cattle kills, pugmarks, scrape, Pellets, Urine mark of Tiger and other carnivores and herbivores during foot patrolling.
- The places and GPS readings are entered in the base camp register.
- Night patrolling during full moon days and few days before and after full moon days and checking of vulnerable water bodies.
- Checking of agriculture lands and water bodies located adjoining the forest for presence of snares and traps.
- Controlling fire during summer season.
- Recording GPS readings in track mode during foot patrolling and wildlife evidences collection.
- Checking the foot pilgrims who are going to Srisailam temple during Mahasivarathri and Ugadi Festival for weapons, inflammable materials and other harmful articles.