3 tiger cubs added to Ranthambore reserve, officials wary of rising numbers
Three tiger cubs, spotted for the first time at Rajasthan’s Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR), have taken the big cat population to 74 at the sanctuary located at Sawai Madhopur.
The reserve now has 20 tigers, 30 tigresses, and 24 sub-adults and cubs, apart from 4 tigers each in Keladevi range and Dholpur range of the reserve.
The tigress T-105 was sighted with 3 cubs on Wednesday evening in Tapkan-Sultanpur area in zone-1, said Sanjiv Sharma, assistant conservator of forest at Ranthambore reserve.
He said it was the first litter of the big cat, the daughter of tigress T-39.
While the good news has excited wildlife lovers, the RTR administration is also worried that with their increasing population, the tiger territory is shrinking.
A forest official said that due to increasing population territorial disputes are rising among big cats, resulting in migration.
Citing the example of tigress Ridhi and Siddhi, the official said they have injured each other a number of times due to territorial disputes and therefore need to be relocated to Sariska Tiger Reserve but the process hasn’t even started in the last two months despite all necessary approvals.
Due to the growing tiger population and fights, the Rajasthan chief minister ordered a panel of experts to suggest ways to shift/relocate tigers. The panel was constituted in July and the report is awaited.
Retired Indian Forest Service officer (IFS) Sunayan Sharma said relocation of tigers should be done on priority or else territorial fights and man-animal conflicts will continue.
“This is not scientific management as carrying capacity should be the guiding principle. Relocation and habitat improvement of tigers should be done simultaneously,” he said, referring to how tiger population was being managed at the RTR.
Sharma said old tiger habitats such as Ramgarh Vishdhari, MHTR, and Raoli Todgarh in Udaipur should be revived and developed to help in tiger and environment conservation.