Rajasthan possibly to move tigers to 9 new locations

The Rajasthan government is thinking of carrying tigers at nine locations covered over four districts in the state over the next 10 years to overcome human-wildlife struggle and contribute a new shelter for the big cats.

SukhramVishnoi State forest minister on Friday told the assembly that the forest department was seeing at the probability of carrying tigers in forest areas such as Ramgarh Vishdhari, Shergarh, Kumbhalgarh, RawliToadgarh and Jhiri in Dholpur district, KhetriBansiyal in Jhunjhunu district, Sultanpur (Bundi) and Shahbad (Baran). He said “A feasibility study in this respect will be conducted,”

He said the development was to bypass the probability of human-wildlife ambivalence in surviving tiger habitats and reshifting the excess tigers. Furthermore, he said “A workshop was held in May at which the possibility for distribution of excess tigers through self-dispersal, environment improvement, and relocation was discussed,”

Rajasthan holds three tiger reserves having at least 85 big cats, out of which 66 are at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, 15 at Sariska Tiger Reserve and four at Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve. Eight tigers have been relocated from Ranthambore to Sariska following 2004, and four shifted to Mukundra in 2018 to decongest Ranthambore. A tigress was moved from Ranthambore to Sariska in January to raise the skewed sex ratio in the habitat, unfortunately, it died in June after being tranquilized.

A superior official of the forest department said on the status of anonymity, that the reshifting or acquiring a new habitat is a portion of the execution of the program for the succeeding 10 years. The purpose is to develop the carrying capacity of tiger reserves by village relocation and development in habitat, particularly in Mukundra Hills and Sariska.

Dharmendra Khandal, a former member of the State Wildlife Board, applauded the transit.

But former IFS officer Sunayan Sharma termed the transit to build alternative habitats for the tiger is “theoretical and not practical”.

Vishnoi said Sariska would shortly get an extraordinary tiger protection force, for which recruitment was being done. The National Tiger Conservation Authority has accepted the principle to design a related force for Mukundra Hills, he said.

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