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Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Third tiger reserve in Rajasthan soon

TUESDAY, 04 DECEMBER 2012 23:35 LOKPAL SETHI | JAIPUR Mukundra Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan would come into existence as a new year gift for tiger lovers. An expert committee, appointed by the State Government to demarcate the area of the new tiger sanctuary, has submitted its report to the forest department. According to Chief Wildlife Warden of the State AC Chaube, a notification to this effect would be issued within a month. The National Tiger Conservation Authority has already given in-principle approval for this third tiger reserve in Rajasthan. The committee had identified about 700 square km of forests, adjacent to Ranthambore National Park (RNP), in the Kota region for this sanctuary. These thick forests were one of hunting areas of former rulers of Kota. Of the total, about 417 square km would constitute as the core area of the reserve while the remaining would be its buffer zone. Presently, there are four villages located in the core area. Once the notification is issued, a programme would be chalked out to relocate these villages, says Chaube. As this new reserve would be connected to the RNP through a corridor, it would give more space to tigers here to move freely in new areas. Right now the total number of tigers in the RNP, which has total area of about 600 square km, is 53, which include 26 cubs. Owing to the less area available for their movement, tigers from this park used to stray in Mukundra forest. In fact, tiger T25 has made these forests as his new home for the past several months. Owing to the shrinking area of the RNP compared to the growing population of the tiger, the big cats frequently used to get involved into brawl over their territory. In these fights they often received injuries to the extent of danger to their lives. Experts feel that with the coming up of a new tiger reserve, close to the RNP, some tigers may decide to move there. The Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar district has currently seven big cats, which include two cubs.

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