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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Kawal Sanctuary notified as Tiger Reserve

Express News Service HYDERABAD: Much to the delight of animal-lovers and environmentalists, the state government on Tuesday notified the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary in Adilabad district as Tiger Reserve. About 893 sqkm of the wildlife sanctuary has been notified as core area, while another 1,123 sqkm area has been declared buffer zone for the tiger reserve. Each tiger reserve has a core area where no development activity is allowed and the buffer zone also has restrictions on the developmental works. Though the Centre gave its nod for the tiger reserve in June last year, it was delayed due to various reasons. Kawal is the 42nd tiger reserve in the country. By declaring Kawal a tiger reserve, the government expects an increase in the number of tigers, especially in central Indian landscape. Currently, the wildlife sanctuary has about 20 tigers as per an unofficial count. India's tiger population has increased from 1,411 in 2006 to 1,706 in 2010 but their habitat area shrunk by about 22 per cent. With the earning of 'Tiger reserve' tag, the Kawal Sanctuary will be provided more funds through the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to help Kawal grow as a tiger habitat. Better security will be provided to bring down poaching and felling of trees that would help in improving herbivorous population leading to better tiger breeding. The main objective for the declaration of Kawal Tiger Reserve is ''to protect, restore, manage and maintain representative biodiversity of Deccan plateau of Sahyadri Mountain Ranges along with ecological processes and conservation of wild gene pool with a focus on Tiger." Kawal Tiger Reserve represents the typical floral and fauna of the Deccan Plateau. The reserve with dense Teak (Tectona grandis) and bamboo (Dendrocalmus strictus) forests is enriched with 673 other species of plants. It is also abode for a variety of wild animals including 23 insect species, 10 species of amphibians, 34 reptile species, 267 bird species and 75 species of mammals like Royal Bengal Tiger, Gaur, wild dog and Sloth bear.

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