After walking 1,700km, tiger may have found home in Buldhana sanctuary
The sub-adult tiger, which has been making the headlines over the past few weeks, for walking on (and on, and on) in search of a home, may have established his new territory at the Dyanganga Wildlife Sanctuary (DWS) in Buldhana, a tiger scientist monitoring the animal over the past 11 months said.Updated: Jan 04, 2020 06:13 IST
His name is T1C1. He is three-years old. He has travelled around 1,700 km, on foot, over the past six months
The sub-adult tiger, which has been making the headlines over the past few weeks, for walking on (and on, and on) in search of a home, may have established his new territory at the Dyanganga Wildlife Sanctuary (DWS) in Buldhana, a tiger scientist monitoring the animal over the past 11 months said.
T1C1 is Dyanganga’s first tiger, and was spotted by tourists on Thursday. The tiger has travelled 300 km more than the distance between Delhi and Mumbai (1,416 km) in over 190 days, making it the longestever recorded movement of a tiger in India monitored using a radio-collar.
Bilal Habib, researcher from Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, who radio-collared the tiger in February 2019, has been tracking his movement since he left Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary (TPWL) in Yavatmal district on June 26, 2019. Habib shared its latest image from DWS, and a complete map of his journey so far with Hindustan Times. The animal has covered eight districts and four wildlife sanctuaries in Maharasthra and Telangana (see graphic for location wise journey).
On December 27, HT reported that T1C1 moved from Dnyanganga to Ajanta hilly regions across Aurangabad in Jalna district covering over 1,500 km since he began his journey from Tipeshwar in June. “Then, the animal began moving back towards DWS but it started moving eastwards towards Melghat Tiger Reserve. However, it made its way back to DWS,” said Habib. “The tiger entered DWS first on November 29 and left on December 12. Now it is back in the same area. There is a huge possibility that this is its final territory.”
Habib suggested that once it was confirmed that DWS is indeed T1C1’s territory, the forest department should explore the possibility of releasing female tigers there. “This tiger has shown us that this historic range, home to tigers for centuries, in the central Indian landscape towards Maharashtra.... in spite of increasing development ... still conducive for tiger movement. We need to ensure these fragmented forest zones do not deteriorate further.”
Nitin Kakodkar, principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife), Maharashtra forest department said, “We hope that this is the final destination, and then we can think of releasing a female there for breeding.”
Ravikiran Govekar, field director, Pench Tiger Reserve, said that T1C1’s journey may not be all that rare. “T1C1 has however opened up newer vistas of (understanding) tiger movements in human dominated areas,” he said.