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Friday, Dec 13, 2019

Tiger travels 1,300km across two state in 150 days in search of territory

mumbai Updated: Dec 02, 2019 01:00 IST

A three-year-old male sub-adult tiger (T1-C1) has travelled 1,300km across Maharashtra and Telangana – six districts and four wildlife sanctuaries – over five months in search of a new area to set up its territory, according to researchers monitoring the animal.

The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun and the Maharashtra forest department have been tracking the tiger’s movement from Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Yavatmal district since June .

The forest department released the information on Sunday after the tiger made his way into the Dnyanganga Sanctuary in Buldhana.

Through the monitoring, the WII and forest department, under their study — Studying dispersal of tigers across the Eastern Vidarbha Landscape, Maharashtra — identified and validated the presence of tiger corridors inside and outside protected forest areas.

HT had reported earlier this year that two tigers, T1-C1 and T1-C3, both born to tigress T1 in December 2016 in Tipeshwar, were radio-collared by researchers Bilal Habib and Parag Nigam from WII in February. The third cub, T1C2, which was not radio-collared, has also covered considerable distance and was reported from Painganga sanctuary in Yavatmal.

Collars work by sending signals to a satellite to obtain information on the movement and dispersal pattern of animals.

Between March and June, both tigers (T1C1 and T1C3) began exploring the Pandharkawda division and bordering Telangana area. “In July 2019, T1-C3 migrated to Telangana and went close to Adilabad town, but returned to Tipeshwar within 10 days and settled there,” said Ravikiran Govekar, field director, Pench Tiger Reserve.

T1C1, on the other hand, moved from Pandharkawda division in June and entered Adilabad through Ambadi ghat and Kinwat forests. “He spent considerable time across interstate forests of Adilabad and Nanded divisions during August and September,” said Govekar. Subsequently, the tiger entered Painganga sanctuary for a brief period, and in October, went to Isapur sanctuary. In the last week of October, C1 entered Hingoli district of Marathwada area.

T1-C1 entered Akola division in early November. “Since Dnyanganga has a good prey base, it is expected the tiger may spend some time here and explore,” said field director Melghat Tiger reserve MS Reddy.

“The tiger, while crossing many villages, fields and habitations, did not enter into any conflict with humans, except isolated instances of cattle kills that he made for survival and unavoidable incidence of human attack when villagers came close to the tiger in Hingoli,” said Govekar.

Researchers said this kind of monitoring and vision will go long way for tiger conservation in India. “The movement of this tiger has highlighted the importance of interface for wildlife conservation. Right decisions and coordination was the key for understanding his movement,” said Habib.