Kailadevi to get new status
29 Jul 2008, 0427 hrs IST, Anindo Dey,TNN
JAIPUR: The forest department has decided to rope in the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) for preparing a detailed report on the Kailadevi sanctuary, adjoining the Ranthambore National Park.
The report would be a precursor for declaring it as a tiger reserve.
A decision to this effect has already been taken by the department. Additional chief secretary, forests, Parmeshwar
Chand said: “We have already declared Kailadevi a critical tiger reserve, a step short of a reserve. The forest is a good breeding ground for tigers and the vegetation of the place is ideal to make it a reserve.”
The Kailadevi sanctuary, spread over 674 sq km, is presently a part of the ‘buffer zone’ of the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve. The sanctuary is characterised by its wildlife, though considerably depleted now, and also by the several settlements of villagers, mostly shepherds. An open stretch of about 4 kilometres separates this sanctuary from the Ranthambore park.
According to sources, the declaration of Kailadevi sanctuary as a critical tiger reserve would imply a better protection of animals there.
“It would also ensure non-diversion of forest land for any other purpose. Besides, funds will also move in much easily,” an official said.
It will also help in giving a boost to the adjoining Ranthambore National Park. Animals, especially tigers, from the park often move into Kailadevi in search of better pastures. Compounding the problems of Ranthambore is the its fast growing tiger populace.
“The Kailadevi and the Ranthambore reserves together will form a much bigger and better reserve for tigers than the Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR). While the STR is of about 866 sq km, Kailadevi is 674 sq km and Ranthambore is about 380 sq km,” Chand said.
However, forest authorities added that before this move, the prey base at Kailadehas to be considerably improved.
“The grassland of the area and the water bodies in them have to be improved. Currently, the sanctuary has a good leopard populace. Once these things come through, structured tours can be planned in it for tourists visiting the place,” said Chand.
The department has already floated plans to remove some of the settlements at the sanctuary and build a green corridor connecting Ranthambore to Kailadevi so as to facilitate the movement of tigers from the former to the latter.