NTCA approves expansion of three tiger reserves in Rajasthan: Official
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has approved the proposal, and now approximate 1,900 sq km of protected area will add to these reserves as buffer
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has approved the state’s proposal for expansion of three tiger reserves in Rajasthan by around 1,900 sq km.
A senior forest official familiar with the development said the department had submitted a proposal of expansion of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR) by around 35 sq km, Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR) by 600 sq km and Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve (MHTR) in Kota by 1,100 sq km.
“The NTCA has approved the proposal, and now approximate 1,900 sq km of protected area will add to these reserves as buffer.”
He said that the state has also sent the proposal for Ramgarh Vishdhari Reserve of 1,000 sq km, Dholpur-Karauli Reserve of 1,000 sq km, and 2,500 sq km for Kumbhalgarh.
“Our focus is on area, prey base and tiger expansion. The area we have done and doing; the prey base is being increased and blackbucks and chitals are brought from Delhi Zoo to MHTR; and four tigresses are being shifted to other reserves from RTR, two to Ramgarh, one each to MHTR and Sariska,” he said.
Another official on condition of anonymity said the big cat population in Rajasthan has reached around 120.
Simultaneously, the number of reserves is also increasing, it had reached five and soon will be six, once Kumbhalgarh gets a nod from GoI (Government of India) - these reserves and their connectivity is filling the gap and building the corridors.
“The territorial fights too have reduced with expansion in the reserves”, the above official said.
The thought of expansion started with population starting from MHTR, then Ramgarh Vishdhari, where recently a tigress gave birth.
“The only issue here is that the prey base needs to be increased,” said the official.
Meanwhile, in August, the Union environment and forest ministry has accorded final approval to state’s fifth Tiger Reserve in Dholpur-Karauli and the country’s 53rd reserve.
In February this year, the NTCA had given its approval for the same.
The ministry, also gave in-principal approval to declare Kumbhalgarh as a tiger reserve in Rajasthan.
With this, Rajasthan now has five reserves namely Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Sawai Madhopur; Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar; Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve in Kota, Ramgarh Vishdhari Tiger Reserve in Bundi, which was added in May 2022; and Dholpur-Karauli.