Centre accords final nod to declare Kudremukh a tiger reserve

The Centre has accorded its final approval to declare Kudremukh a tiger reserve, Environment and Forests Minister Prakash Javadekar  said on Thursday.

“Final approval has also been accorded to Bor in Maharashtra and Rajaji in Uttarakhand for declaring them tiger reserves,” he said in the Rajya Sabha. Earlier, when Jairam Ramesh was the Union Minister for Environment and Forests, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), an organisation working under the ministry, had decided to give in-principle approval for Kudremukh National Park as a tiger reserve and the same had been communicated to the state.

The Karnataka Forests department, while seeking the tiger reserve tag, had informed the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) that an area of around 600.32 sq km can be brought under the ambit of the project.

However, the BJP-led State government in 2012 opposed the project apprehending displacement of tribals in forest areas. The Karnataka government finally agreed to the tag after the MoEF convinced it that declaring Kudremukh a tiger reserve would help the State get Central aid under Project Tiger to facilitate relocation of families.

The MoEF has already declared Bandipur, Bhadra, Dandeli-Anasi, Nagarhole and Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary as tiger reserves in the State.

To a question, Javadekar said the Centre was aware of the reported spread of a deadly virus in tiger sanctuaries and only a single case of tiger death due to Canine Distemper Virus (CDV) had been confirmed at Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh in 2013.

He said tiger deaths due to Kyasanur forest disease (KFD) and foot-and-mouth disease had not been reported so far anywhere in the country.

The minister said that based on discussions with experts and advice from the Indian Veterinary Research Institute and the Wildlife Institute of India, the tiger states had been advised by NTCA to monitor and take precautionary measures against the spread of CDV.

He said that on receiving an alert from the regional office of the Bangalore-based NTCA regarding prevalence of foot-and-mouth disease and CDV in Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, the tiger states had been advised regarding preventive and control measures.

Javadekar said a single case of death of Bonnet Macaque (Macaca radiata) due to KFD was reported during the summer of 2013 in the Bandipur Tiger reserve.

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