Centre asks Goa to propose Mhadei sanctuary as a tiger reserve

In a letter to Goa Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said "there is evidence that tigers in Goa are not merely transient animals but are a resident population as well" in the state.

Noting that there is "considerable local community support" for creation of a tiger reserve and for wildlife conservation, the Minister said that "by declaring Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve, we would also ensure the long-term protection of biodiversity-rich areas."

"I urge you to give this idea the most serious consideration and submit a proposal to us so that we can take it forward quickly," the Minister said.

Mhadei, situated in Sattari Taluk of North Goa, is a "contiguous tiger landscape" to Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka to its south-east and to Anshi Dandeli Tiger Reserve to its south which has around 35 tigers.

Ramesh also referred to a study carried out by the Wildlife Institute of India, which said that the protected areas of Goa and their contiguous forests in Karnataka and Maharashtra are possibly some of the best potential tiger habitats in the Western Ghats region and they need protection.

"You may also want to consider expanding the tiger reserve beyond the existing Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary," the Minister said in the letter.

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