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Experts want tiger corridors between Ranthambhore, Mukundra reserves in Rajasthan

Wildlife experts have emphasised the need for developing tiger corridors to facilitate free movement of big cats from the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve, where they are facing space crunch, towards the Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve

jaipur Updated: Apr 27, 2018 21:46 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan,Tiger corridors,Experts want
Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve’s tiger, RT-91, was relocated to Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve in Kota early this month. It was renamed MT-1 (Mukundra Tiger-1)(HT File Photo)

Wildlife experts have emphasised the need for developing tiger corridors to facilitate free movement of big cats from the Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve (RTR), where they are facing space crunch, towards the Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR).

According to official data, the tiger population at RTR in Rajasthan’s Sawai Madhopur district has reached 70; the reserve had around 14-18 tigers in 1973. RTR’s tiger, RT-91, was relocated to MHTR in Kota early this month. It was renamed MT-1 (Mukundra Tiger-1).

“There are two tiger corridors between RTR and MHTR, but they do not have legal status as conservation reserves. That’s why there are no dedicated staff to provide security to tigers moving out of RTR towards MHTR,” said VK Salwan, former field director of RTR and present secretary of the Mission Tiger Land and Lakes Society, Kota.

One tiger corridor extends from Lesoda village in Sawai Madhopur to Bagli village in Kota and ends in Gagron region of Jhalawar district along the Kali Sindh river. The other spreads to Lakheri, Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary and Jawahar Sagar Sanctuary in Bundi district, and meets MHTR, Salwan said.

“The length of each tiger corridor is around 100 km; tigers of RTR have been moving towards MHTR through the two corridors.” Salwan calls for developing the tiger corridor from RTR to Gagron via Bagli village as a conservation reserve.

“One RTR tiger, Broken Tail, had reached MHTR around 14 years ago through such tiger corridor; a tigress strayed out of RTR and reached Sultanpur forests in Kota around 8 years ago through this corridor.”

Under provisions of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, a conservation reserve (tiger corridor) can be declared in which there are no restrictions on people’s activities, except illegal mining, said Brijesh Vijayvargiya, state vice-president of Rashtriya Jal Biradari and Paryavaran Parishad.

“Presently, human disturbances, including illegal mining, exist along such passage, so declaration of conservation reserve status to such tiger corridors will ensure inviolate area, dedicated staff and more security for the big cats moving out of RTR towards MHTR,” Vijayvargiya said.

Salwan said a conservation reserve status to the corridors would benefit farmers as movement of tigers would drive out wild boars and other animals destroying crops. “Theft of trees for firewood would also be curbed.”

MHTR deputy conservator of forest T Mohanraj had also sought conservation reserve status for tiger corridors to facilitate secured movement for tigers from RTR to MHTR.

MT-1 moves to bigger area

Relocated tiger MT-1 came out of the inner enclosure of 26 hectares at MHTR where it was kept from April 3 after being caught from the Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary in Bundi.

T Mohanraj said, “MT-1 today moved to a 80 square km area, which has stone wall boundary of 30 km and chain-link fencing of 25 km.”

First Published: Apr 27, 2018 21:46 IST