The Amangarh forest range in Uttar Pradesh’s Bijnor district is all set to become a tiger reserve — the state’s second after Dudhwa National Park.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests have already given their approval to the project.
The declaration of Amangarh as a tiger reserve only awaits clearance from the state’s law department.
Bordering the famed Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, the 80 sq km Amangarh range is seen as an extension of and buffer to the Corbett tiger reserve. Unlike the Dudhwa tiger reserve, there are no human settlements in Amangarh.
“The declaration of Amangarh forest range as a tiger reserve is simply a matter of time. All formalities have been completed,” Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) B.K. Patnaik told Hindustan Times. “It’s for the first time that steps have been taken at the inter-state level to protect tigers.”
According to some wildlife experts, declaring the Amangarh range as a tiger reserve would help check poaching and other illegal activities there, and ensure availability of funds for protection of tigers from the NTCA and the Centre.
“It will be a major step towards tiger conservation in the state,” said G.C. Mishra, former field director of the Dudhwa reserve. “Forest guards will now be better equipped to check poaching in Amangarh.”
Bijnor is infamous as a trading hub for animal parts.
The new tiger reserve will also give a boost to wildlife tourism in Uttar Pradesh.
Another proposal to declare the Pilibhit forest reserve as a tiger reserve has been approved by the state government but awaits clearance by the Centre.
“The proposal to declare Pilibhit as a tiger reserve is very old,” said a senior forest official. “The state must take it up with the Union government on a priority basis,” he said.