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Monday, Oct 21, 2019

Wildlife department not keen on promoting ecotourism at Mukundra after tiger relocation

Wildlife experts are of the view that the big cats must be given enough time to settle down in their new habitat.

jaipur Updated: Sep 12, 2017 20:55 IST
Aabshar H Quazi
Aabshar H Quazi
Hindustan Times
The Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve.
The Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve.(HT File Photo)

Wildlife experts and enthusiasts have said that there should be no plans to promote ecotourism immediately after the translocation of tigers to Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR). They are of the view that the big cats must be given enough time to settle down in their new habitat.

The wildlife department, too, has agreed with the experts’ view on not promoting ecotourism immediately after the translocation.

On September 1, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had granted its approval to the Rajasthan wildlife department to relocate three tigers, one tiger, and two tigresses, from Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve (RTR) in Sawai Madhopur to MHTR in Hadauti region by December this year.

“It’s okay to start planning ecotourism activities at MHTR, but ecotourism should not begin immediately after the translocation of the tigers. Since the tigers are being brought from a different habitat, they should be given time to settle down in their new habitat at MHTR,” said Dr Fatima Sultana, associate professor, zoology, Government Janaki Devi Bajaj Girls College, Kota and is also the wildlife ecologist who has prepared the Tiger Conservation Plan for MHTR.

“Tigers will need privacy for them to acclimatise at MHTR and mark their territory, which cannot be done if there is any disturbance,” said senior vice-president of Hadauti Naturalists Society Kota, AH Zaidi.

“Once the tigers settle down in their new habitat, ecotourism activities can begin,” he added.

Tapeshwar Singh Bhati, a wildlife activist, and founder of Mukundra Environment and Wildlife Society, Kota, said that the focus should be on tiger and habitat conservation at MHTR and not ecotourism.

“Also starting tourism immediately after translocation of the tigers will divide the focus of the wildlife staff between tiger monitoring and ecotourism,” said Bhati.

Dr Fatima said that the issue of ecotourism was taken up with the chief wildlife warden of Rajasthan, GV Reddy, during a meeting of activists in Kota recently.

“The wildlife department is not doing any tourism activity as of now and our focus is only on the translocation now,” Reddy told HT.

He said that the advice of wildlife lovers has been taken. “If ecotourism is taken up later, it will be done to benefit the local communities,” he added.

He said that there is no defined time limit by when ecotourism will be promoted at MHTR.

First Published: Sep 12, 2017 20:55 IST

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