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Tiger relocation to Mukundra reserve in Rajasthan by April

The National Tiger Conservation Authority has approved relocation of three tigers -- two female and a male. The relocation project, scheduled to be completed by December 2017, got delayed as the forest department decided to change the plan

jaipur Updated: Feb 11, 2018 22:01 IST
Sachin Saini
Sachin Saini
Hindustan Times
Rajasthan news,Tiger relocation,Mukundra reserve
An enclosure will be built at Mukundra Tiger Hills Reserve in Rajasthan’s Kota district on 200 square kilometre area. In the first phase, 82 sq km area will be enclosed by March 31.(HT Photo)

Come April and wildlife lovers will sight tigers at Mukundra Tiger Hills Reserve (MTHR) in Kota district of Rajasthan.

Construction of a boundary wall and chain-link fencing at the reserve will be completed by March 31. A 24-hectare enclosure to acclimatise tigers has been built.

Additional chief secretary Subodh Agarwal said, “The civil work has been speeded up at Mukundra and will be completed by March 31. The strategy for shifting tigers will be worked out in a few days.”

The MTHR project was initiated in 2003, and notified in 2013 by merging Dara Wildlife sanctuary of Kota, Jawahar Sagar Sanctuary of Bundi, Chambal Ghariyal Sanctuary and some forest blocks of Chittorgarh district.

MHTR is spread over 759.99 square kilometres -- 417.17 sq km core area and 342.82 sq km of buffer zone.

The total enclosure area to be built in MTHR is 200 sq km, but 82 sq km will be constructed under phase-I till March 31, a senior forest official said on anonymity. “Tigers will be introduced after planning. Initially one tiger will be brought and later the other two.”

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has approved relocation of three tigers -- two female and a male. “Tigers will be relocated in a phased manner following standard operation procedure. Initially T-91 which is making movements in the area will be relocated; then two more will be shifted,” said the official familiar with the relocation project.

On prey base, he said, “At present there are chittals and sambhars, and more will be introduced in phases from Jaipur, Jodhpur and Kota zoos.”

The relocation project, scheduled to be completed by December 2017, got delayed as the forest department decided to change the plan – instead of Seljar range as planned earlier, tigers will released in Darrah region.

On the delay, the official said a few villages in Seljar needed to be relocated. “Two (villages) are big; a town is nearby. Our priority is providing a disturbance-free environment to tigers. In comparison, Darrah region is grassland, safe and secure, and has two big water bodies; the region is better for fencing and monitoring,” he said. “For the first time a tiger is being relocated to MTHR. In 2003, a tiger was last sighted in Darrah.”

After approval from the NTCA, the state forest department had identified six tigers -- two female (T-83 and T-78) and four male (T-66, 75, 91 and 95).

“We have identified six tigers for relocation after considering all the required parameters, such as health, age, current location, territory, dispersal direction and avoidance of close relatives,” the official said.

“The focus is on shifting tigers who can breed well -- male should be aged 4-5 years and female should be of three years. The tiger to be shifted should not have established territory.”

First Published: Feb 11, 2018 22:01 IST