Tiger habitat to get new corridor to stop turf wars

Linking sanctuaries

Even as the Wildlife Conservation Society recently reported a 50 per cent increase in the population of tigers in the wild in India with their population now estimated at 3,200 after years of dangerously dwindling numbers, there is fresh cause for worry for tigers in sanctuaries.

As tiger-numbers increase in reserve areas, territorial fights are becoming frequent. In Ranthambore National Park, the large number of tigers dying of such fights has led to the state government planning for a corridor connecting this sanctuary with the adjoining Keladevi Sanctuary, an official said on Friday.

The new corridor will come up at an estimated cost of Rs 200 crore.
About 45 villagers will need to be relocated to create the corridor, an official said.
The decision to create such a corridor was taken following the mysterious death of a yet-to-identified tiger in Ranthambore recently.

Territorial fights

Senior forest department officials said preliminary investigation hints at the possibility of the majestic cat being killed in a territorial fight.

“The state government has sought Rs 200 crore from the Central government for developing the corridor,” a senior forest department officer said.

 “We are hopeful of receiving the money in the near future,” the officer added.
Four tigers were killed in territorial fights over the past four years in Ranthambore National Park, leaving environmentalists worried that as the tiger population increases, there is also need to create a habitat in which they can thrive.

The tigers are overlapping each other’s territory. To get their share of space, the big cats are fighting each other to death in the reserve in Sawai Madhopur district, some 150 km from Jaipur, wildlife experts said.

A tigress died in the reserve area on December 23, and the death was attributed to a territorial fight with another cat.

The mutilated, maggot-ridden carcass of the tigress was recovered from the reserve’s Gilai Saga-Khadar area early on Sunday, officials said.
A senior forest department officer said a probe has been launched into the animal’s death.

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