Rajasthan to develop prey base in Mukundra reserve before introducing tigers
The wildlife department plans to develop an inviolate breeding area for ungulates -- primarily large mammals -- and panthers at Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) before tigers are introduced in the reserve by the year-endjaipur Updated: Jul 02, 2017 19:36 IST
The wildlife department plans to develop an inviolate breeding area for ungulates -- primarily large mammals -- and panthers at Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) before tigers are introduced in the reserve by the year-end, officials said.
The reserve, formed in 2013 by merging wildlife sanctuaries in the Kota region, does not have tigers now.
“We have chalked out a plan to develop around 900 hectares as closed area near Gagron-Nolav region in the reserve,” assistant conservator of forest (MHTR) Jodhraj Singh Hada told HT.
“Since three villages exist on the periphery of the Gagron-Nolav region, human movement is seen in the area. Animals cannot breed and plantations cannot flourish unless grazing and human intervention are checked.”
Before the first tiger is released in the reserve by December, the wildlife department will develop a prey base and improve living conditions for big cats at MHTR, officials said.
“We plan to close 900 hectares falling in the buffer zone, including the core area, of MHTR with a stone wall; entry gates will be set up to restrict human movements, so that animals can safely breed there,” Hada said.
Two panthers, he claimed, have been sighted in the area. As Kali Sindh river flows in the vicinity, enclosing the area will help breeding of panthers and ungulates -- chinkaras, wild boars and blue bulls -- which exist there.
“Water facilities will be developed in the area for the ungulates; a couple of roads will be built, so that wildlife department vehicles can move in the area for monitoring,” Hada said, adding that a fire line would be developed to prevent forest blaze in the breeding space.
The proposal worth ₹40 lakh has been sent to the deputy conservator of forest, MHTR, and work will start after approval, he said.
Dara Wildlife Sanctuary of Kota, Jawahar Sagar Sanctuary of Bundi, Chambal Ghariyal Sanctuary of Kota and Bundi districts, and some forest blocks of Chittorgarh district were merged to form MHTR.
The reserve is spread over 759.99 square km -- 417.17 square km core area and 342.82 square km buffer area.