MM Hills set to become Karnataka’s sixth Tiger Reserve
Bengaluru, Jan 12: Karnataka is all set to get its sixth tiger reserve, with the State Wildlife Board deciding to propose to the Centre to notify Malai Mahadeshwara Hills Wildlife Sanctuary (MM Hills) distinguished tag.
Chief Minister HD Kumaraswamy approved the formation of new protected areas, conversion of reserves into sanctuaries/tiger reserve and expansion of a few sanctuaries in the state.
The government had earlier proposed to declare the CWS jointly with MM Hills. If the proposal had come through, the tiger reserve would have gone by the name Cauvery-Malai Mahadeshwara Tiger Reserve (CMTR).
"A decision on raising the compensation amount in cases of man-animal conflicts from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh will soon be taken," the CM said. Some important forest habitats that will now get the tag of conservation reserve include Mulliayanagiri in Chikkamagaluru, Bhukapatna (for chinkaras) in Tumakuru and Mulabagilu in Kolar for bats. In Kolar, the Malur-Kamasamudra Wildlife Reserve for leopards and sloth bears and an elephant corridor too got the nod from the Board.
If Male Mahadeshwara Hills is declared as a Tiger Reserve, Chamarajanagar District will become the first district in India to have three Tiger Reserves - Bandipur Tiger Reserve, Biligirirangana Betta Tiger Reserve (BRT) and now, Male Mahadeshwara Tiger Reserve.
MM Hills sanctuary spread over a total area of 1,93,372.25 in Chamarajanagar, Mandya, and Ramanagar districts. The sanctuary is home to mammals like tigers, leopards, wild dogs, hyenas, sloth bears, elephants, honey badgers, guars, sambars, chitals.