Parambikulam Tiger Reserve opened in Kerala

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Anappadi (Kerala), Feb 20 (ANI): Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh has inaugurated the Parambikulam Tiger Reserve at Anappadi in Kerala's Palakkad district on Friday.

Situated at the Sungam range of hills between the Anaimalai Hills and Nelliampathy Hills, Parambikulam Tiger Reserve is the 38th Tiger Reserve of India and second of Kerala.

Earlier known by the name of Parambikulam Wildlife Sanctuary, the reserve contains around 20 Tigers besides being an abode for 51 species of Reptiles, 204 species of birds, 160 varieties of butterflies and other species.

In his address, Ramesh showed concern over the dwindling Tiger population of the country that is facing threat from poaching, mining and operation by real estate mafia. "The extinction of Tigers is because there is a real-estate mafia, mining mafia and there is a crime syndication which wants to finish-off all Tigers and lay claim to the forest land and that is the real danger. The danger is not just to Tigers but it is to the forest land itself," he said.

He said the Central government would pay Rs. two crore annually to each tiger reserve. It would also meet the expenses incurred for relocating people from the core area.

Nearly one lakh families were living in the core areas of tiger reservesand 3,000 families relocated. The Centre would pay Rs.10 lakh each to the family willing to relocate. There was no compulsion to move out," he added.

In India, the tiger population has dwindled to about 1,400, which is 60 percent fewer than in 2002. Some 40,000 tigers were thought to be in India at the start of the 20th century, but now an stimated one tiger per day is dying. (ANI)

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