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Rajasthan sets up tiger reserve

The Asian Age, New Delhi, 13th April, 2013

Is the premier National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) abdicating its responsibility in favour of state governments?

Tiger conservationists are amazed that the announcement to set up a new tiger reserve in the Mukundra Hills in Rajasthan has come from the state government and not the NTCA.
The Mukundra Hills tiger reserve will constitute three wildlife sanctuaries including Darrah, Jawahar Sagar and Chambhal and will stretch over a distance of 759 square kilometres covering four key districts in the state.

These comprise the districts of Kota, Bundi, Chittorgarh and Jhalawar and while 417 square kilometres will comprise the core tiger habitat, the remaining area will form the buffer zone.
The main reason why the reserve is being created at a rapid pace is because the Ranthambore National Park can no longer accommodate its present population of tigers.

Tiger specialist P.K. Sen pointed out, “Four tigers have been killed in territorial fights in Ranthambore during the last four years. The only solution is to create a new reserve so that the pressure on the tiger population eases in the coming years.” The Mukundra Hills is not contiguous to Ranthambore but earlier, tigers have been known to stray into that region. Already, tigers from Ranthambore have also been relocated to the Sariska tiger reserve where after some initial hiccups, they have started breeding. But the decision of the NTCA to relocate tigers from Madhya Pradesh to Sariska in order to boost tourism in this reserve has stirred a hornet’s nest. Activist Ajay Dube, running the NGO Prayatna, has written to the minister of environment Jayanti Natarajan questioning this move.