Bhubaneswar, May 23: The National Tiger Conservation Authority has given its `in principle’ approval for creation of Sunabeda Tiger Reserve in Orissa.
The proposed Sunabeda Tiger Reserve, extending over 956.17 sq km area, is situated in Nuapada district bordering the state of Chhattisgarh to the west of Orissa, encompasses the Sunabeda wildlife sanctuary with an area of 591.75 sq km and the Patdhara forest block to its south over 364.42 sq km.
The existing Sunabeda wildlife sanctuary, which was created in 1983, has about 32 tigers 40 leopards as per the 2004 census of the State government.
The faunal characteristics of the proposed Tiger Reserve include a population of wild buffalo migrating between Orissa and Chhattisgarh.
The first tiger reserve of the State, Similipal Tiger Reserve in Mayurbhanj district, was created in 1973.
The `in principle’ approval for the proposed Sunabeda Tiger Reserve was given when the National Tiger Conservation Authority held its meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The Authority said decided that four new Tiger Reserves will be created in the country and one park will be treated as a separate Reserve.
The reserves include Sunabeda Tiger Reserve, Shahyadri Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra , Pilibhit Tiger Reserve in Uttar Pradesh and Ratapani Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.
All four states concerned had earlier submitted proposals to the Ministry of Environment and Forests.
The Authority also accorded an approval on the proposal from Karnataka to treat Nagarahole National Park as a separate reserve which was a part of Bandipur Tiger Reserve.
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