Six tigers have been relocated to the Sariska Tiger Reserve in last five years and four remain to be shifted to revitalize the eco system in Jaipur. Though Ranthambhore National Park is state government’s most convenient option, wildlife experts are beginning to demand “careful” translocation to save the species. Though authorities are keeping their cards close to the chest, tiger conservation experts are insisting that Rajasthan should try to get tigers from Kanha and Bandhavgarh reserves of Madhya Pradesh. This, they say, is important for ensuring that tigers have good genes.
“For genetically stronger progeny, it is important that tigers from the same family do not mate with each other. To ensure this, we must translocate tigers from MP. The state can send a few tigers from Ranthambhore to their tiger reserves, like Panna and Pench, and, in turn, get tigers from Kanha and Bandhavgarh reserves,” said Senior Vice-President of Sariska Tiger Foundation Sunayan Sharma.
According to the translocation plan for Sariska, which has been approved by the Wildlife Institute of India, 10 tigers were supposed to be relocated to Sariska over a span of 10 years. However, tiger conservationist said that exchanging tigers is a temporary solution to a graver problem. They are of the opinion that corridors should be developed from Ranthambhore to Sariska via Keoladeo sanctuary for tigers to be able to naturally move from one reserve to another and maintain genetic variety.
“There are natural routes which facilitate movement of tigers from MP’s Palpur-Kuno sanctuary to Ranthambhore via Keoladeo sanctuary. The tiger which strayed up to Mathura and finally reached Keoladeo was following the same centuries old route. The aim of tiger conservation should be to create a natural and sustainable habitat for tigers and not breed them in jungles by translocation and relocation,” said Shatrunjai Singh Khandela, tiger conservationist.