Tamil Nadu set to create state’s 5th tiger reserve
Following the Centre’s approval, Tamil Nadu government passed an order on Monday for creating the fifth tiger reserve in the state and the 51st in the country. The Srivilliputhur Megamalai Tiger Reserve will span the forests of Megamalai wildlife sanctuary and Srivilliputhur grizzled squirrel wildlife sanctuary spread across the districts of Theni, Virudhunagar and Madurai.
“This would enable Central assistance to the state to upgrade the protection status of the landscape under the on-going Centrally-sponsored scheme of Project Tiger besides fostering the coexistence agenda with local people in its peripheral and buffer area,” said the government’s order.
The 100,000-hectare area is home to a range of mammals and bird species and more than a dozen tigers. “Tigers from the neighbouring Periyar Tiger Reserve and Anamalai Tiger Reserve regions can find significant habitats and breeding in the terrains of Megamalai and Srivilliputhur which are largely uninhabited” and could “offer excellent genetic exchange grounds”, said the order, adding that an “ecosystem of predators and other species could be correlated to the growth of tigers”.