Earlier, the Centre had sought information about the BRT Sanctuary way back in 2005 and the same thing had been submitted by the State Government.
With this the number of tiger reserves in the State has increased to five. The district is now home for two tiger reserves, the other being the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, which was accorded the status in 1973-74.
During 1998-99 Bhadra Wildlife sanctuary and during 2008-09 Dandeli-Anashi and Nagarahole Reserves were given the status of Tiger Reserve Forests.
The country has 39 tiger reserve forests. Madhya Pradesh leads with six tiger reserve forests followed by Karnataka. Karnataka has the highest number of Tiger Reserves in South India, followed by Maharashtra with four, Tamil Nadu with three and Kerala with two tiger reserves. The B R T Reserve sanctuary is spread on 610 sq km. According to survey conducted in 2005, there are around 25 tigers in the sanctuary.
“The survey was held in January last year. Around 15 tigers were spotted at that time. Camera trap survey is yet to be conducted. We are optimistic that the tiger population may have touched 30”, Deputy Conservator of Forests, R Ravishankar told Deccan Herald. With the announcement of Tiger Protection Scheme, a separate Tiger protection team has been approved.
With this the staff will also be increased and grants will be provided. They would be able to provide increased protection to the big cats.
He said that the procedure would take a few more days and State Government will announce it officially after approval from Union Government. Tribals in the area are in a dilemma. With a population of around 15,000 people, each family is set to receive Rs 10 lakh for rehabilitation. But the rehabilitation of tribals through the Tiger Protection Act, is still not clear.
Ravishankar said that after the decisions would be taken only after receiving official orders from the government.
DH News Service