Work on repopulating Sariska tiger sanctuary gains steam

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New Delhi, Dec 28 (UNI) Tigers from Ranthambhore Sanctuary would soon be shifted to repopulate barren Sariska reserve.

Officials of the Wildlife Institute of India(WII), Dehradun, are at present visiting Ranthambhore to select cubs and grown-up tigers for the Sariska sanctuary, which became infamous two years back for having lost all of its tigers, creating nationwide uproar.

''Our team of experts would soon finish their job, and then the animals can be shifted,'' WII director V B Mathur told UNI today.

Officials said there was literally a ''baby boom'' in Ranthambhore with ten new births happening recently.

According to interim figures of a study by the WII, tiger population in the Ranthambhore National Park has gone up from 26 to 32 within the last two-years.

The first prerequisite, to improve Sarsika Sanctuary as a proper habitat for the tigers, was to remove human settlements which were disturbing the life of the animals.

Mr Mathur said the task of shifing of one village had been completed.

The officials of the National Tiger Conservation Authority had earlier said though four villages had been taken up for relocation, cubs could be put in Sariska even if two villages were relocated.

The WII director said the work on relocating another village would start soon.

Sariska forests, located in Alwar district, Rajasthan, was a hunting preserve of the erstwhile state, but was declared a wildlife reserve in 1955 and a Tiger Reserve in 1978.

The reserve has an area of 866 sq km and is situated 107 km northeast of Jaipur.

It was about three-years ago that the news of Sariska having lost its tiger population started coming in. A year later in 2005, the State government and the Project Tiger authorities confirmed that the species had disappeared from the sanctaury, in the wake of which a Tiger Task Force was created by the Prime Minister. The Task Force submitted its report in August 2005.

In the light of the Task Force recommendation, the Ministry has drawn up a strategy for conservation of tigers and setting up a vehicle for the purpose in the creation of a National Tiger Conservation Authority.

UNI

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