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Nandhaur wildlife sanctuary approved as tiger reserve


Nandhaur wildlife sanctuary approved as tiger reserve

The Pioneer, 30 August 2018, New Delhi



After Corbett and Rajaji Tiger Reserves, Uttarakhand is gearing up to have yet another one with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) giving in-principle approval recently for the Nandhaur wildlife sanctuary in Nainital district to be notified as tiger reserve.


However, the Hill State will have to wait more for the Surai range bordering Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh as NTCA has sought more details in the matter from the Trivendra Rawat Government which wants it to be developed as the home of big cats.


The Nandhaur sanctuary which is the part of Terai Arc landscape stretches till the Nepal border. It has around 24 big cats and healthy prey-base, said sources  in the NTCA, an autonomous body under the Union Environment Ministry, responsible for conservation of the striped cats in the country.


However, the State officials claim that the Nandhaur sanctuary, notified in 2012, is brimming with over 40 tigers while Surai range has 12. Primary a Sal forest, Nandhaur is home to about 25 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 15 species of reptiles and 20 species of fishes. The major mammalian species include Asian elephants, leopards and sloth bears besides tigers.


With an aim to boost its revenue through wildlife tourism, the Uttarakhand State Board for Wildlife had recently approved the plan to declare Nandhaur wildlife sanctuary in Nainital district, which stretches till Nepal border, as well as the Surai range bordering Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit — as tiger reserves in the State.


 To make the area inviolate and safe for the tigers, the board has also given green signal for increasing the ex-gratia amount for kin of those killed due to human-wildlife conflict to Rs 5 lakh from Rs 2 lakh. In case of severe injury, a victim will get a compensation of Rs 2 lakh. Earlier it was Rs 50,000.


According to the latest tiger estimates Corbett is now home to around 208 tigers while Rajaji has 34.


Forest department officials have attributed the increase in tiger numbers to enhanced and effective security measures.


The NTCA sources said that we have asked the State Government to submit a detailed plans on how it intends to protect the big cats. They also pointed out that illegal logging and boulder mining, poaching and the diversion of forest land for non-forestry related developmental activities are the major threats that the State Government will have to take care of.