Here’s something for the Vidarbha district to cheer about. Melghat tiger reserve at Amravati district, one of the oldest tiger projects in the country, has been adjudged among the country’s 10 best-managed tiger reserves.
Melghat is located on the southern offshoot of Satpura Hill Range at Amravati district, bordering Madhya Pradesh with an area of about 1673.93 sq km. The forest is home to around 50 tigers and an equal number of leopards.
The tiger reserve scored 230 marks out of 300 in a detailed evaluation of wildlife management, conservation and protection, carried out by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). The reserve ranked eighth among all the 39 tiger projects in the country.
AK Mishra, field director of Melghat tiger reserve, said the result was because of strong wildlife and forest management and protection strategy by the field staff and officers.
Tadoba and Pench tiger reserves — the other two tiger habitats of the region — were ranked 13th and 14th in the country respectively.
There were 30 parameters for evaluation — set by the Deharadun-based Wildlife Institute of India and the International Union for Conservation of Nature — each bearing 10 marks.
An evaluation is carried out every five years by the NTCA.
During the last evaluation in 2006, Melghat was rated as poor while Tadoba and Pench were termed satisfactory.
Now, Melghat ranks 8th in the country and surprisingly has left high-profile tiger reserves in the country, like Ranthambore in Rajasthan and Jim Corbett National Park at Uttaranchal behind.
Kishore Rithe of Satpuda Foundation and one of the members of the Maharashtra Wildlife Advisory Committee said presentations on the reserves were done in Delhi a few days ago. All five tiger reserves at Madhya Pradesh are among the top, while Pench has overtaken Kanha and is ranked the best in the country.