The Rajasthan government’s plans to make Mukundra Hills tiger reserve a wildlife destination on the lines of Sariska and Ranthambore have taken a major setback. National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has put a temporary ban on the shifting of tigers to Mukundra Hills from other tiger reserves in the state.
The Rajasthan chief wildlife warden has received a letter from NTCA in this regard. NTCA has raised objection over the fact that the state forest department had not provided satisfactory answers to concerns regarding the safety of tigers in Mukundra Hills. Citing this reason, NTCA has refused to give its permission for the tiger relocation.
The state government was all set to start relocating tigers from March 26. The forest department officials are currently identifying the tigers in Ranthambore national park relocation to Mukundra. But the project has received a setback with NTCA denying to give its nod for the same.
NTCA had written to the state wildlife department for details on various security measures including collar ID for the first time in October last year. It again sent a communication in November. After getting no response, the NTCA decided to put a temporary ban on the relocation project.
Senior forest department said that they would now send all the details to the NTCA.
They said that they would send a response to all the concerns expressed by the NTCA this week and would try to get the agency’s nod as soon as possible.
Rajasthan forest minister Gajendra Singh Khinwsar said that they had completed all the preparations for the relocation.
“I would also communicate this to the union environment and forest minister. I have instructed the state wildlife department officials to send replies to NTCA immediately so that we can get permission for relocation,” said the minister.
Even after being notified as a reserve, Mukundra hills is still awaiting relocation of tigers.
The reserve was formed to cater to the spillover tiger population from RTR, which at present is reported to be around 65 tigers.
At present, the reserve is home to panthers, sloth bear, cheetal, sambhar, bluebulls, chinkara, wild boars, langurs, monkeys, jackal, fox and other animals.
There are around 100 sambhar, 400 spotted deer and large numbers of bluebulls and wild boars in MHTR.
First published: March 28, 2018