In Sariska, tiger pushes son out of reserve’s core area | india-news | Hindustan Times
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In Sariska, tiger pushes son out of reserve’s core area

Rising tiger population may be triggering territorial disputes in the Sariska tiger reserve. In the latest turf war, a tiger has pushed its son out of the reserve’s core area.

india Updated: Jun 14, 2017 17:55 IST
The Sariska Tiger Reserve has made a remarkable comeback after translocating the big cats from Ranthambhore. But a surge in tiger population is leading to turf war among the striped cats.
The Sariska Tiger Reserve has made a remarkable comeback after translocating the big cats from Ranthambhore. But a surge in tiger population is leading to turf war among the striped cats.(HT PHOTO)

It’s a turf war in the Sariska tiger reserve.

Twelve years ago, poachers had wiped Sariska clean of the big cats. Now, a total of 14 tigers mean that the national park with an overall area of about 800 sq km and a core area of approximately 500 sq km may be turning into a bit of a squeeze for the striped cats.

In the latest territorial fight in Sariska, tiger ST-6 has made sure that his son ST-13 has not entered his territory for the last eight months.

ST-6, which dominates the core area of the reserve, had in November pushed out ST-6, which is moving in the buffer area in the Rajgarh forests.

Officials of the tiger reserve, wildlife institute of India and Jaipur zoo have made several attempts to tranquilize ST-13 and bring him back into the core area but have been unsuccessful.

“We are constantly monitoring the tiger, who is in no danger and comfortable in getting prey in territorial division of Alwar. We tried to capture but failed as his movement downhill is usually at midnight. We have laid camera traps and a team of forest staff is on the task,” deputy conservator of Forest (Sariska) Balaji Kari told HT.

He said efforts are on to tranquillize and install radio collar for effective monitoring.

Post-2005, Sariska was repopulated with tigers from Ranthambore.

Read more: Another Sariska tiger gets radio collar

Eight tigers were translocated from Sawai Madhopur reserve to Sariska between 2008 and 2012. One of these was poisoned in 2010. Tigress ST-2, ST-9 and ST-10 have given birth to seven cubs between 2012 and 2017.

A senior official in forest department on anonymity said, “A day before ST-13 ran away in November 2016, he was spotted with ST-6 in the Tehla area. We assume that they had a fight, and ST-13, born to ST-2, was pushed to the periphery.”

A tiger normally demarcates 10-12 square km as his or her territory and does not allow a rival to enter. And when one enters, there is a fight for dominance with the stronger one retaining the region and the weaker pushed to the periphery.

Territorial pressure is a usual phenomenon in the wild. Between 2002 and 2013, six tigers migrated out of Ranthambore to different areas, including Kuno Palpur in Madhya Pradesh, and only one of them returned. Three of them were found dead and two did not return. In the recent past, four tigers have moved to Kailadevi, a new green home for Ranthambore’s animals.