Jairam wants BSY to declare Kudremukh park a tiger reserve

Jairam wants BSY to declare Kudremukh park a tiger reserve

In a letter written to the chief minister on Tuesday, the Union minister asked him to send a request to the Centre to declare the KNP as tiger reserve under Section 38V of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 so that the area could be brought under Project Tiger enabling the state to get Central assistance.

On the human population in the area, the minister said there are several small revenue enclaves and the people do not have access to employment opportunities besides suffering on account of human-wildlife conflict. “It is learnt that 450 families have requested the government for relocation and 12 were relocated during last year. The notification of Kudremukh as tiger reserve would greatly facilitate the relocation activities since it would be possible to provide Central aid to the State under Project Tiger”.

Mining threat

Ramesh said the Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited, which was operating in the area, has been closed by a final judgment of the Supreme Court in 2002 and all major operations now stand legally terminated from 2005. “However, some of the machinery and infrastructure is reportedly still remaining within the terminated lease area which need removal. By declaring KNP as a tiger reserve, any further threat to the area from mining can be prevented in the interest of biodiversity conservation”.

Ramesh said in the letter that “KNP is the largest protected area in the Western Ghats of Karnataka which is rich in biodiversity. This area has unique types of tropical evergreen forests and high altitude grasslands, with highly endangered and globally significant wildlife species like tiger, leopard, wild dog etc. Besides, there are more than 169 species of birds of which eight are endemic to the Western Ghats”.

“Around 50 species of reptiles and 34 species of amphibians occur in Karnataka which includes highly endangered species such as flying lizard, flying snake and the king cobra. The area is biologically significant for notification as a tiger reserve since it is located amidst other good tiger areas in the Malnad-Mysore tiger landscape”.

According to the minister, the last all-India tiger estimation using the refined methodology found that the Kudremukh-Bhadra landscape has one of the three distinct tiger populations existing in Karnataka which extends up to the Bhimsankar area of Maharashtra.

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