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Uttarakhand to have two new tiger reserves soon

The State Board for Wildlife (SBWL), headed by chief minister TS Rawat, has given its approval to develop Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary and Surai range of Terai East as tiger reserves

dehradun Updated: Jun 15, 2018 22:15 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Uttarakhand News
Nandhaur, which was notified as a wildlife sanctuary in 2008, has 45 tigers.(HT File)

Uttarakhand will soon have two new tiger reserves. The State Board for Wildlife (SBWL), headed by chief minister TS Rawat, has given its approval to develop Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary and Surai range of Terai East as tiger reserves.

Soon, the forest department will send detailed proposals in this regard to the ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) and National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

“Uttarakhand will now have four tiger reserves. This would mean protection of tigers and employment opportunities for locals,” said Digvijay Singh Khati, the chief wildlife warden.

Nandhaur, which was notified as a wildlife sanctuary in 2008, has 45 tigers. The 269 sqkm area was proposed for a tiger reserve with an additional 578 sqkm of eco sensitive zone. But the CM did not approve the extended area and gave nod to declare only the original area of the sanctuary (269 sqkm) as the reserve.

Like Amangarh range of Uttar Pradesh, which falls in the buffer zone of Corbett Tiger Reserve and notified as a tiger reserve, Rawat approved declaring Surai range of Uttarakhand as tiger reserve, which will act as a buffer of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve of Uttar Pradesh.

The state forest minister, Harak Singh Rawat had hesitation in declaring Surai range as a tiger reserve. But the SBWL officers informed him that there will be more protection and funds provided for conservation of tigers. In addition, it will also increase tiger tourism in the area, thereby opening livelihood opportunities for locals.

The hill state is already known for its Corbett Tiger Reserve, which is believed to have highest density of tigers in the country. The last annual estimation had put the tiger count in the reserve at 240.

Meanwhile, Rajaji Tiger Reserve too has reported healthy breeding of tigers and has nearly 35 tigers. With 340 tigers, the state ranks second after Maharashtra in tiger population.

First Published: Jun 15, 2018 22:15 IST