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Rajasthan all set to get its 4th tiger reserve

The Rajasthan government last year first announced the plan to develop the Bundi sanctuary as a tiger reserve to provide a second habitat to Ranthambore tigers and to boost tourism
Representational Image. (File photo)
Published on Jun 23, 2021 01:23 PM IST

Rajasthan is all set to get its fourth tiger reserve in Bundi as the state government has received the go-ahead for it from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), officials aware of the matter said on Wednesday.

Chief wildlife warden Mohan Lal Meena said the NTCA’s technical committee has approved the proposal for converting Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary in Bundi, which is spread across 1,071 square km, into a tiger reserve. He added the state will soon issue a notification in this regard.

Officials said a 302 square km area in the proposed tiger sanctuary will be left as critical habitat for big cats and the rest of the area will be the buffer zone

The Rajasthan government last year first announced the plan to develop the Bundi sanctuary as a tiger reserve to provide a second habitat to Ranthambore tigers and to boost tourism.

Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Sawai Madhopur, Alwar’s Sariska Tiger Reserve, and Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve in Kota have over 100 big cats.

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A second forest official said NTCA is now expected to send a committee to review the Bundi sanctuary. He added the population of big cats at the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve is increasing and they need more space. This space crunch would get resolved by upgrading the Bundi sanctuary, which was earlier a natural habitat of tigers.

Meena said tigers from Ranthambore could be translocated to the new sanctuary after NTCA’s approval.

Officials also hope to connect Ranthambore to Ramgarh and Mukundra.

“To strengthen the prey base, the state has already approved shifting of chital (spotted deer) from Ghana Bird Sanctuary (Karauli) to Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve, Keoladeo National Park, and Ramgarh Vishdhari,” said Meena.

A third official said the fourth proposed sanctuary has been known as a breeding place for tigers. As per a 1985 census, there were nine tigers there. At least three cats have strayed out of Ranthambore to Ramgarh since 2013. This shows that tigers are migrating there naturally, the third official added.

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