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| Last Updated:12/09/2019

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Burgeoning tigers give birth to new reserve

In order to accommodate the growing numbers of big cats in Rajasthan, the State Government on Thursday issued a notification announceing the decision to create a third tiger reserve in the State.

The proposed Mukandra Tiger Reserve will come in handy for relocating the yellow cats from the other two reserve in the State, particularly the Ranthambore National Park (RNP) in  Sawai Madhopur.

The new tiger reserve that would be carved out of four districts Kota, Jhalawar, Bundi and Chittorgarh would be spread over an area of 760 sq km, Forest Department officials said.

After getting an in principal approval from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), an expert committee recently proposed the idea of having a third tiger reserve after the RNP and Sariska Tiger Reserve, to the State Government.

According to the Government notification, the Mukandra Tiger Reserve would have a core area of about 417 sq km, and a buffer zone of about 342 sq km.

"Owing to the increase in the numbers of tigers in RNP, its area was shrinking in proportion to the tiger population and incidents of territorial fights among the tigers were becoming frequent. To accommodate the growing number of tigers, we were of the view that we need to have some new tiger reserve close to RNP", said AS Brar, Chief Wildlife Warden of the State.

The Forest Department would soon submit a plan before the NTCP to seek more funds for the development and management of the new tiger habitat. "Though the department has not checked out any immediate plan to shift some tigers from RNP to the Mukandra Tiger Reserve, the same could take place in a year or so," officials said.

At present, the total number of tigers in the State is 59. RNP alone has 50 yellow cats including 24 cubs, while the Sariska Tiger Reserve has seven adult tigers and two cubs.

For tiger conservationists, the news that there is a move to set up a third reserve is an indication of India's successful tiger protection programme.

"It should open the eyes of experts in other countries where tigers are facing extinction fast, said an official of the Rajasthan Forest Department.