Male tiger to be relocated to Sariska this month
The National Tiger Conservation Authority had approved the relocation in June 2017.jaipur Updated: Apr 19, 2018 22:11 IST
After successfully relocating a male tiger to Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve, the Rajasthan forest department is preparing to shift another male tiger from Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR) to Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR) this month.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had approved the relocation in June 2017, aiming at increasing the big cat population in Sariska.
“Efforts are being made to shift a male tiger to Sariska. The process got delayed as Mukundra Reserve was the priority. A tiger will be sent to Sariska this month,” said a senior forest department official, on the condition of anonymity.
He said a three-and-half-year-old tiger, T-95, will be translocated and the animal is being monitored by the forest team. The young tiger has not been able to mark his territory and at present moving in Jhumar Bawdi area. Over a month ago, he was pushed out by another male tiger T-86. The tiger is also seen as a threat to the tigress Lightening’s cubs, who are in the same area.
The official said when a tiger is chosen for translocation, various parameters such as health, age, current location, territory, dispersal direction, avoid close relatives etc are kept in mind. In addition, the focus will also be on the fact that they can breed well and the tiger to be shifted should not have established its territory.
A study conducted in 2015 by the Wildlife Institute of India had found that the tigers were stressed and lack of inviolate area, which could be affecting breeding among tigers. There are 26 villages in Sariska core area and two major roads crossing the jungle.
As part of the species recovery programme, eight tigers were relocated to Sariska from Ranthambore in 2008, but only seven cubs have been born from three tigresses – ST-2 (13 years), ST-9 (7 years) and ST-10 (7 years). Of the three, ST-2 mated twice and gave four litters.
The last breeding in the reserve was reported a two-and-half year ago when tigress (ST-9) gave birth to ST-15. Sariska has 14 tigers, which comprise nine female and five male. The oldest tiger is 13 and youngest is two and a half years old.
Twelve years ago, poachers had wiped Sariska clean of the big cats. Eight tigers were translocated from Sawai Madhopur reserve (RTR) to Sariska between 2008 and 2012. One of these was poisoned in 2010, and another died due to strangulation in March 2018. In addition, a tigress ST-5 has gone off the radar in February and has not been located yet.