Ranthambore tiger reserve to be kept open for tourists during monsoon
Jaipur: Rajasthan forest department has decided to keep Ranthambore national park and other tiger reserves in the state open for tourists throughout the year, throwing to the wind the guidelines of National Tiger C0nservation Authority (NTCA) in this regard.
Tiger reserves were kept closed for tourists between July and September in Rajasthan to reduce human intervention during their mating period. But under pressure from the powerful lobby of hoteliers, the state forest department has allowed the tourists to enjoy tiger safari throughout the year, according to sources.
Tourists are assigned ‘routes’ in Ranthambore tiger reserve when they are taken on tiger safari. Five of these routes will remain open for tourists even during the monsoon season, sources said.
Other tiger reserves including Sariska will also be kept open throughout the year.
Monsoon season is the mating period for the majestic cates. They don’t like human intervention. They can also show aggressive behavior towards tourists.
An order has been issued to keep tiger reserves open for tourists during the monsoon season from the office of Rajasthan chief wildlife warden. The order refers to a ‘suggestion’ from the standing committee of state wildlife board. It says that the tourists could be allowed into the parks during the monsoon season.
The communication from the committee has a contradiction. It says that while the park could be opened, the forest department should make sure to comply with NTCA orders dated August 18, 2015.
As per the NTCA guidelines, tiger reserves should be kept closed for 3-5 months in a year.
Senior forest department officials said that while this NTCA order makes sense in a state like Kerala where it rains heavily during the monsoon season, it is of no use in Rajasthan where scanty rains are reported. The field director will take a decisions which ‘routes’ should be closed when it rains.
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