B2 (1997-2011)

B2 (1997-2011)

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Kudremukh, Kawal Gets Tiger Reserve Status

Centre gives nod to Kudremukh tiger reserve
Ajith Athrady,NEW DELHI, June 19, DHNS:

There has been no reply from Karnataka government: Jairam

A view of the Kudremukh National ParkAmid stiff opposition from the State government against including ten sites of Western Ghats for natural heritage property tag from Unesco, the Centre has given in-principle approval to declare Kudremukh National Park (KNP) as the fifth tiger reserve in Karnataka.

The KNP, is one among the 10 sties in Western Ghats in Karnataka, which was recommended to the world body seeking heritage status.  Kudremukh, spread across  Chikmagalur (110 sq km), Hassan  (130 sq km),  Dakshina Kannada (70 sq km) and Udupi  (50 sq km) districts, will be the 41st tiger reserve in the country.

Disclosing the government decision, Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh told Deccan Herald that “though since last one and half months I have been asking the Karnataka government to submit a detailed report to enable the ministry to release required financial assistance, I have not received any reply from other end.  I hope the state government will not oppose the tiger reserve status and submit a detailed project report to take advantage of the scheme to protect wildlife treasure,” he said.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), an organisation working under the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF),  had decided to give in-principle approval for tiger reserve to a total of six national parks, including KNP and the same has been communicated to the states. After getting a detailed report about the areas and required infrastructure, the ministry will issue a formal notification to this effect.

According to the minister, the declaration of Kudremukh as a tiger reserve would help the state get Central aid under the Project Tiger to facilitate relocation of families. Nearly 450 families in the vicinity have requested the state government to relocate them and  12    families were shifted last year, the minister said.

Earlier while seeking the tiger reserve tag, the Karnataka Forest Department had informed the MoEF that an area of around 600.32 sq km can be brought under the ambit of the project. The MoEF has already declared Bandipur, Bhadra, Dandeli-Anasi, Nagarhole and Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary as tiger reserves in the State.

Kudremukh reserve has unique tropical evergreen forests and high altitude grasslands with highly endangered and wildlife species, including tigers, leopards and wild dogs. This apart, the park is home for more than 169 species of birds of which eight are endemic to the Western Ghats. It also houses around 50 species of reptiles and 34 species of amphibians.

According to the last all-India tiger census, the Kudremukh-Bhadra landscape has one of the three distinct tiger populations existing in Karnataka which extends up to the Bhimsankar area of Maharashtra, the minister said.


Kawal is tiger reserve no. 42
The government has declared an important wildlife corridor for tigers between Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra as the 42nd tiger reserve in India. With this, the government has provided another exclusive zone for the big cats.  India’s tiger population has increased from 1,411 in 2006 to 1,706 in 2010 but their habitat area shrunk by about 22%.  

In the last two years, the environment ministry added about 13 new tiger reserves ensuring their better protection. Each tiger reserve has a core area where no development activity is allowed and the buffer zone also has restrictions on the developmental works.

The latest addition in the list of protected areas for tiger is the 893 sq km Kawal wildlife sanctuary in Adilabad district of Andhra Pradesh, adjacent to Chandrapur district of Maharashtra.

Apart from being a tiger habitat, it is an important west-south tiger corridor… its protection is required for providing space to the tiger movement,” environment minister Jairam Ramesh said.

The tiger census report in March, 2011, had citied huge degradation of forest corridors between tiger reserves as a major hindrance for increase in tiger population.

By declaring Kawal a wildlife area, the government expects an increase in number of tigers, especially in central Indian landscape for tigers. The sanctuary has about 20 tigers as per unofficial count.

A decision to declare Kanwal as tiger reserve was taken on June 15 after examining a proposal from the state government.

South India, which is turning out to be a hub for new tiger habitats, recently got another two new tiger reserves —Kudremukh and BR Temple Hills, both in Karnataka. One of the best maintained tiger reserves in India is Bandipur in Karnataka.

Another forest area, Satyamanglam in Tamil Nadu, once a hub of sandalwood smuggler Veerappan, is also in the pipeline to get approval. “Once we receive a proposal from the Tamil Nadu government on core and buffer areas, the decision will be taken,” Ramesh said.

The government expects to increase the number of tiger reserves to 46 by end of 2011 by declaring Nagzira-Navegaon and Bor wildlife areas in Maharashtra and Suhelwa in Uttar Pradesh.


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