Tiger translocation in Rajaji: NTCA panel reviews preparations
A one-member committee from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on Monday reached Uttarakhand to review preparations for translocation of tigers from the Corbett landscape to the western part of Rajaji Tiger Reservedehradun Updated: May 21, 2018 22:10 IST
A one-member committee from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on Monday reached Uttarakhand to review preparations for translocation of tigers from the Corbett landscape to the western part of Rajaji Tiger Reserve.
Nishant Verma, deputy inspector general (DIG) of forests, NTCA, along with K Ramesh, tiger expert at Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and forest officials monitored the Chilla and Motichur ranges where the translocation is proposed. There are two tigresses in the 570 sqkm area that have failed to find a mate due to a narrow corridor with buzzing traffic diving the reserve into two parts. Tigers in the eastern part of the reserve (150 sqkm) have a healthy breeding rate and had recorded 34 individuals in the last monitoring in 2016-17.
Verma paid field visit to the ranges and analysed the prey base density in the area. WII had already done a comprehensive survey underlining the healthy prey base and presence of deer family and other species for tiger food.
In addition, Verma also assessed human intervention and other factors that could affect the translocation in future. “We are reviewing the prey base availability on random level. We have also noted human intervention in the area, which is not a problem, as I see,” Verma said.
The leopard poaching incident in the core area of Rajaji that came to light in April was not discussed. Sources familiar with the developments said that the NTCA will discuss the case on Tuesday.
NTCA, India’s nodal body for protection and conservation of tigers, had given in principle approval to radio-collaring of the two tigresses in the western part, which is yet to be done. Several factors — from monsoon to excessive bushes — in past six months hindered the radio-collaring of the two big cats.
Meanwhile, the reserve management has been monitoring both the animals manually. A tiger cell was also set up inside the reserve for reporting presence and movement of the tigresses. “Both tigers are healthy. We could not radio collar them earlier, but we would soon do it,” Sanatan Sonkar, director Rajaji said.
WII’s K Ramesh, who had been instrumental in formulating the plan and had also assisted both NTCA and forest authorities on the matter, said, “This is a site inspection by NTCA and they have come to monitor the ground preparations.”
A project worth Rs 3.50 crore, the translocation, as per experts would happen in a span of 10 years. To start with, three tigers (two female and one male) from Corbett landscape will be introduced in the western side. This would give an opportunity to the existing female tigers to mate. If not, then the male tiger could mate with the other two tigresses introduced.
The objective is to achieve tiger breeding in the area.
Order issued to kill man-eater
Chief wildlife warden, DVS Khati on Monday issued permission to kill the man-eater leopard prowling in Raiwala area. On the night of May 20, a leopard killed a labourer while he was sleeping on the terrace of his house. Activists claim that this was 19th such death since 2014 in the area. Also, there are over two dozen leopards active in the buffer.