After a four-year wait, Mukundara Hills to get three tigers
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on Friday gave the green signal for relocation of one tiger and two tigresses from Ranthambhore National Park to Mukundara Hills tiger reserve, about 300 km south of Jaipur.
The decision was taken at a meeting held in New Delhi. The big cats will be relocated by December this year, officials said.
Mukundara Hills tiger reserve, located in the Hadoti region of south-eastern Rajasthan, has been waiting for the big cats since its inception in 2013. Mukundara Hills is the third notified tiger habitat in Rajasthan after Ranthambhore in Sawai Madhopur and Sariska in Alwar. The reserve was formed to provide a home range to the excess tiger population in Ranthambhore, which at present is said to have around 65 of the striped cats. The state government had recently sought the Centre’s nod for shifting the tigers.
“The NTCA technical committee has cleared the relocation of three tigers, one male and two females, to Mukundara Hills from Ranthambore, in a meeting held in New Delhi on Friday. The relocation, which was earlier scheduled for December 2018, has been advanced by a year,” a senior forest department official told HT.
The Mukundara Hills tiger reserve has a wide range of wildlife population that includes panthers, sloth bears, blue bulls, cheetals, sambhasr, chinkaras, wild boars and jackal among others.
The state’s chief wildlife warden G V Reddy, while refusing to confirm or deny the move, said, “I will wait for the minutes of the meeting to be made available before making any statement.”
Sources said that Rajasthan’s forest minister Gajendra Singh had met Union environment and forest minister Harsh Vardhan in New Delhi last week where the issue of shifting the tigers also came up for discussion.
Gajendra Singh said that the addition of tigers to Mukundara Hills reserve will attract more domestic and foreign tourists and help the State government generate the revenue needed for improving security and tourism infrastructure.
The state wildlife department had sent the Tiger Conservation Plan (TCP) to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in 2106.
Conversationalist Tapeshwar Singh Bhati and others have been urging the officials since a long time for expediting the tiger relocation process.
While the Mukundara Tiger reserve was established in 2013, development of infrastructure, setting up of a prey base and relocating surrounding villages, selection of tigers for release and other related works took time, officials said.
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