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Monday, Aug 26, 2019

Translocate tigresses, not tigers to Sariska reserve: Wildlife body

The Sariska Tiger Foundation said the core area of the reserve is currently ruled by two dominant tigers, and they are intolerant of any other male in the area.

jaipur Updated: Jun 27, 2017 18:41 IST
Sachin Saini
Sachin Saini
Hindustan Times, Sariska
A couple of tigers get comfortable  in Sariska.
A couple of tigers get comfortable in Sariska.(HT photo)

The Sariska Tiger Foundation (STF) has asked the state forest department to translocate tigresses instead of a tiger to the wildlife sanctuary under a programme intended to increase the population of big cats there.

Earlier this month, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had approved the state forest department’s proposal to relocate a male cat from the Ranthambore tiger reserve to Sariska. “While the news of the translocation is welcome, it will not be advisable to send a tiger to Sariska. Instead, it needs one or more tigresses,” said STF founder secretary Dinesh Durani.

Giving reasons for his request, Durani said the core area of the Sariska reserve is currently ruled by ST-4 and ST-6 – two dominant tigers – and they are intolerant of any other male in the area. In fact, ST-6 had shunted ST-13, which happens to be its offspring, out of the reserve eight months ago.

ST-13 was finally tranquilised and radio-collared before being shifted back to the core area on Monday night.

Durani said ST-13 would have fallen victim to poachers or villagers if he hadn’t been brought back by wildlife personnel. “In a situation like this, any male brought here from Ranthambore is bound to be pushed out of the tiger reserve. Such animals are prone to preying on cattle, resulting in human-wildlife conflicts,” he added.

He pointed out that residents of nearby villages had been agitating against reserve officials over leopard-human conflicts until a few months ago. “Tigers stalking the periphery of the reserve will further aggravate the situation. Keeping this in view, we urge the state authorities to send one or two tigresses instead,” Durani said.

Govind Sagar Bharadwaj, field director (Sariska Tiger Project-Alwar) and chief conservator of forests, said a decision in this regard will be taken by the chief wildlife warden, state wildlife board and the standing committee after taking every factor into consideration.

Another senior official told HT that the STF was yet to forward its request for tigress translocation to the forest department. The NTCA’s approval would be required to make any such change, he added.

While poachers had wiped Sariska clean of big cats 12 years ago, the 800-sq km national park currently has a tiger population of fourteen.

First Published: Jun 27, 2017 18:39 IST

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