Sariska tigers siblings, incest dangerous: Experts

Sariska tigers siblings, incest dangerous: Experts

Swati Vashishtha / CNN-IBN
Published on Thu, Jul 09, 2009 at 16:43
Updated on Thu, Jul 09, 2009 at 16:54 in India section

Jaipur: Grand plans were afoot in Sariska to re-populate the habitat with tigers. But now there’s a controversy brewing. Could the three tigers – two females and one male – airlifted from Rajasthan’s Ranthambhor to Sariska be siblings?

“The conclusion was arrived at by analysis of the photographic sensors. The three tigers – airlifted to Sariska last year – have all been fathered by the same male,” says Field Biologist Ranthambhor National Park, Sawai Madhopur, Dharmendra Khandal.

Experts say having a common parent can be a problem for these tigers because breeding between siblings can lead to genetic disorders.

“It can have ill effects like mortalities and slow growth rate,” says Khandal.

The Rajasthan government which has spent over Rs 50 lakh on the ambitious project is in denial mode and is in fact planning to release another tiger in the area.

Rajasthan Minister for Forest and Environment, Ramlal Jat says, “If they are shifted again, then the same problem of incest can arise.”

While the government limits its concern to things like doubling up the budgetary allocation towards tiger conservation, what could well be another serious lapse in Sariska shows how the crucial attention to detail in saving the big cats is still nobody’s priority.


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