Tiger reserves across Maharashtra to be closed down till Oct 15
Monsoon is considered as the worst time to visit the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries as most of them are flooded or filled with marshy land, making which makes it difficult for the safari jeeps to move about.Updated: Jul 01, 2017 23:03 IST
The state forest department’s wildlife wing closed down the famous Tadoba Tiger reserve in Chandrapur for tourists for three months from June 30 following a directive from the National Tiger Conservation Authority.
Earlier, the state government had kept the Tadoba tiger reserve open during monsoon for tourists. But now, it has closed down the popular tourist spot, along with Pench, Sahyadri, Melghat, Nagzira-Navegaon and Bor after the NTCA directives. All the other 25 wildlife sanctuaries in Maharashtra have also been instructed to be closed down till October 15. Tourists will now have access to the entire tourism zones in these national parks and sanctuaries from October 16 only. The state has six tiger reserves and over 35 sanctuaries.
Monsoon is considered as the worst time to visit the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries as most of them are flooded or filled with marshy land, making which makes it difficult for the safari jeeps to move about. Besides, it is also the mating time for wild animals and human movement can disturb them.
Principal chief conservator of forests (PCCF), Shree Bhagwan said that the roads to Tadoba are now motorable and that the decision was also in view of the mud that accumulates on the roads during the monsoon. Moreover, a particular area was given an access to the tourist in the reserves earlier, which was later revoked.
“However, in view of the new directives, we have to close down all the wildlife sanctuaries for next three months,” he added.
The Tadoba Tiger Reserve is spread across 1,727 sq kms (including buffer zone) of high hills and lush valleys covered with dense teak and bamboo forests. The reserve is also home to wild dogs, leopards, sloth bears, bisons, and hyenas and jungle cats, apart from around 80 tigers.
The total number of tigers in Maharashtra was estimated to be around 190, a rise of just 12% from its 2010 figure of 169. According to rough estimates, out of 190 tigers in Maharashtra about 170-175 exist in the landscape of Tadoba, Pench, Melghat, Navegaon, Nagzhira and Sahyadri tiger reserves. The number of tigers is estimated around 80 at Tadoba reserves in Chandrapur. The directive will also ensure a safe and undisturbed mating season for the big cats.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) rated Tadoba, Melghat and Pench tiger projects from good to very good for protection, conservation and effective management of wildlife while Sahyadri was rated as fair to good. The Melghat tiger reserves has been awarded the first prize among all tiger reserves in the country for its village relocation from one of the core areas.