Kawal is tiger reserve no. 42 | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Kawal is tiger reserve no. 42

The government has declared an important wildlife corridor for tigers between Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra as the 42nd tiger reserve in India. Chetan Chauhan reports.

delhi Updated: Jun 21, 2011 02:00 IST
Chetan Chauhan

The government has declared an important wildlife corridor for tigers between Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra as the 42nd tiger reserve in India. With this, the government has provided another exclusive zone for the big cats.

India’s tiger population has increased from 1,411 in 2006 to 1,706 in 2010 but their habitat area shrunk by about 22%.

In the last two years, the environment ministry added about 13 new tiger reserves ensuring their better protection. Each tiger reserve has a core area where no development activity is allowed and the buffer zone also has restrictions on the developmental works. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/21_06_11-metro-15.jpg

The latest addition in the list of protected areas for tiger is the 893 sq km Kawal wildlife sanctuary in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh, adjacent to Chandrapur district of Maharashtra.

“Apart from being a tiger habitat, it is an important west-south tiger corridor… its protection is required for providing space to the tiger movement,” environment minister Jairam Ramesh said.

The tiger census report in March, 2011, had citied huge degradation of forest corridors between tiger reserves as a major hindrance for increase in tiger population.

By declaring Kawal a wildlife area, the government expects an increase in number of tigers, especially in central Indian landscape for tigers. The sanctuary has about 20 tigers as per unofficial count.

A decision to declare Kanwal as tiger reserve was taken on June 15 after examining a proposal from the state government.

South India, which is turning out to be a hub for new tiger habitats, recently got another two new tiger reserves —Kudremukh and BR Temple Hills, both in Karnataka. One of the best maintained tiger reserves in India is Bandipur in Karnataka.

Another forest area, Satyamanglam in Tamil Nadu, once a hub of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan, is also in the pipeline to get approval. “Once we receive a proposal from the Tamil Nadu government on core and buffer areas, the decision will be taken,” Ramesh said.

The government expects to increase the number of tiger reserves to 46 by end of 2011 by declaring Nagzira-Navegaon and Bor wildlife areas in Maharashtra and Suhelwa in Uttar Pradesh.