Umred – Karhandala To Be Considered For Tiger Reserve Status
The efforts of Sanctuary Asia, and its partners in Vidarbha, for the Umred – Karhandala Wildlife Sanctuary (UKWS) of Nagpur district to be recognised as a tiger reserve have not gone unnoticed.
Photo: Mayank Mishra.
Not only is UKWS home to the iconic tiger Jai but it also houses five tigresses with eight cubs within its 192.3 sq. km boundary, which is more than many tiger reserves in India. Tigers also move between the neighbouring Protected Areas of Tadoba, Bor, Navegaon-Nagzira and Pench Tiger Reserves via UKWS potentially regarding it as the ‘Grand Central Station’ for wild tigers. If the proposal is accepted, Maharashtra will become the state with the most tiger reserves in India.
A five-member committee chosen by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) will examine habitat conditions, prey populations in relation to tiger presence, disturbances and will collect and analyse data to study tiger presence and distribution. This will lay the basis for any decision regarding the notification of UKWS as a tiger reserve.
The appraisal committee includes inspector general of forest (IGF) with regional office of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Nagpur, chief conservator of forests (CCF) and field director of Pench Tiger Reserve MS Reddy, NTCA Assistant Inspector General (AIG), Delhi Vaibhav C Mathur, a scientist with Wildlife Institute of India (WII) Bilal Habib. AIG of NTCA, Nagpur Ravikiran Govekar will act as member–convener.
With a status of a tiger reserve, come benefits such as improved protection for the park and its wildlife along with an influx of funds for better management as it will be regarded as another constituent of ‘Project Tiger’. As a result, eco – tourism will too flourish.