Tue, Apr 15 12:55 AM
Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh have decided to join hands to set up a ‘tiger landscape’ to facilitate the unhindered movement of the big cats in the three States. An initiative of the State Wildlife Wing (SWW), the project will establish a corridor over a stretch of 1,280 square km of forestland in the three States.
SSW has already submitted an Indicative Tiger Conservation Plan to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to take up the project in coordination with its MP and Chhattisgarh counterparts. “It’s purpose is to create an environment for the ‘unhindered’ movement of the big cats to facilitate ‘gene flow’ for their healthy and sustainable population growth, because in-bred cubs inherit their parents’ genetic diseases and disorders,” explained S.
K. Sharma, chief conservator of forests (Wildlife).
The three states, according to him, would set up a coordinating panel of their respective wildlife officers to monitor the development of the landscape. “This apart, local people of the three states will be involved in setting up and keeping a vigil on the corridor to pre-empt poaching,” he said.
The landscape along with the corridor would connect Jharkhand’s Palamu Tiger Resrve (PTR) with the Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SGNP) in MP through Chhattisgarh and extend to the SGNP’s adjoining area, Bandhavgarh. The corridor includes 1,028 sq kms of PTR alone.
Ironically, the SWW has presented the tiger conservationplan to the conservation authority after the Centre threatened to stop funds, if the State failed to come up with a comprehensive plan to convert Palamu Tiger Reserve into tiger conservation foundation. However, the Centre later provided guidelines for the preparation of the Tiger Conservation Authority, as it would help SWW get central funds for the PTR without hiccups.
“As per the guidelines, a tiger reserve area should have a minimum area between 800 sq km and 1,000 sq km with 80 to 100 tigers, including 20 females, to get the status of a State Tiger Conservation Foundation.
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