Nod for tiger reserve tag to Kudremukh Park

The decks have been cleared to declare Kudremukh National Park as a tiger reserve. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has given an in-principle approval for the proposal.

The National Park, showing all signs of an ecological revival, will be the sixth tiger reserve in the country approved by the NTCA.

Confirming the approval, Forest officials said they were awaiting a final order to issue a notification. “We had sent the proposal way back in April. The park will be notified as tiger reserve as soon as we get the final order,” said B K Singh, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests. The Forest department had prepared a detailed report to get the tiger reserve tag for the park spread over 600.32 sq km.

The proposed reserve, spread across Chikmagalur (110 sq km), Hassan, (130 sq km), Mangalore (70 sq km) and Udupi (50 sq km) districts, is a large expanse of grassland shola eco system at the centre of Western Ghats. The place is a crucial habitat and is considered one among the world’s biodiversity hotspots. Spread across five districts, the park has a contiguous forest with Someshwara wildlife sanctuary and receives an annual rainfall of 7,000 mm. It has a floral diversity of 2,500 species, of which majority are endemic to the region.

This apart, the Park is home to 23 species of fish, 117 species of amphibians, 22 species of reptiles including King Cobra, the largest venomous snake in the world, 38 species of mammals and 150 species of birds. The region is also a prime habitat for Asiatic elephant, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, mount jack, mouse deer, malabar giant squirrel and four-horned antelope.

Floral diversity

The region is home to over 2,500 flowering plants, 400 medicinal plants, 70 species of orchids, 180 species of edible plants and 750 species of mushrooms. With 43 villages in the vicinity, a human population of 6,244 and 6,931 cattle, there is a proposal for KNP to have a buffer of 168 sq km with eight villages.

The other new tiger reserves, and sites in the country are: Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, Ratapani in Madhya Pradesh,  Sunabeda  in Odisha, Mukandara Hills including Darrah, Jawahar Sagar and Chambal Wildlife Sanctuaries in Rajasthan and Kawal Sanctuary in Andhra Pradesh.

The NTCA has directed the Goa and Tamil Nadu governments to send proposals to declare Mahadayi Sanctuary and Satyamangalam as tiger reserves.

This will help in landscape conservation by providing contiguous forests for the movement of big cats. Anshi and Dandeli adjoins with Mahadayi and Biligirirangana Temple Tiger reserve adjoins Satyamangalam.

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