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12 avril 2013 5 12 /04 /avril /2013 04:11

LA CREATION ANNONCEE D'UNE TROISIEME RESERVE A TIGRES AU RAJASTHAN REVIENT A UNE EXPANSION SIGNIFICATIVE DU SANCTUAIRE DE RANTHAMBORE. IL S'AGIT DES COLLINES DE MUKUNDRA. Source : Times of India, ce jour.

JAIPUR: The Rajasthan government has notified the Mukundra hills sanctuary as the third tiger reserve in the state.

The reserve area will be over 759 sq km spread between four districts of Kota, Bundi, Chittorgarh and Jhalawar near the Ranthambore tiger reserve. "Nearly 417 sq km have been earmarked as the core tiger habitat, while 342.82 sq km has been notified as the buffer zone," senior a forest official. The other two tiger reserves of Ranthambore and Sariska have a core area nearly thrice this size.

"With powers bestowed under Section 38 V of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972, we have declared Mukundra hills national park as a tiger reserve. When the budget announcement was made last financial year, we had taken the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) into confidence. Now that we have declared it as a reserve, we will be forwarding the notification to them," said A S Brar, head of forest forces and chief wildlife warden, Rajasthan.

The Section 38V of the Wildlife Protection Act says that the state government shall, on the recommendation of the Tiger Conservation Authority, notify an area as a tiger reserve. The state government has received an in-principle nod from the NTCA.

According to Brar, a three-member expert committee had been constituted under the then chief wildlife warden A Choubey which included a member from the state wildlife board and the chief conservator of forests, Kota, which surveyed the area and consulted the gram sabha. Consultation with the gram sabha is necessary, as under the law, the core area of the reserve is to be an inviolate space and all villages have to be relocated. However, the law permits man and animal to co-exist with some restriction on commercial activities.

The core area of the Mukundra reserve currently has six villages, two of which are uninhabited. Eventually all these villages will have to be relocated funded by the NTCA. The sanctuary currently has wolves, sloth bear, chinkaras and leopards.

"After the declaration of the area as a tiger reserve, NTCA will also give funds for developing the forest area," said an official.

The Mukundra hill sanctuary was already declared as the satellite core area of Ranthambore reserve by the NTCA and Tigers often stray into the area. "The objective was always to link this to Ranthambore so as to let the tigers that stray from the park come and breed here. It was the next best forest after Ranthambore for rehabilitation of tigers. But we have went a step ahead and declared it as a reserve itself," said the official.

Officials added that at a later stage, tigers will be relocated from Ranthambore reserve so as to provide optimum space to the big cats. Before that the annual working plan for the development and management of the reserve will have to be approved by the NTCA.

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