Best Tiger State Award 2012
Photograph by Shirish Thakur.
Month Year: December 2012
In recent years, as all of us are acutely aware, the tiger slide has shaken us all. And a very tentative fight back has begun. To take stock of the tiger situation in India, Sanctuary Asia undertook an internal review of key Tiger States information from our own database and from official government sites. We evaluated the performance of over the past year on a grid using seven key parameters: 1. The declaration of core and buffer zones. 2. The establishment of a Tiger Protection Force 3. Whether forest guard posts and front line vacancies had been filled. 4. Whether new tiger habitats had been notified as sanctuaries 5. Whether wildlife corridor protection had begun. 6. The scale and effectiveness of voluntary relocation of villages. And 7. The participation of local communities in managing tiger tourism, with revenue sharing. Based on the above, Sanctuary Asia is delighted to announce that Maharashtra, under the visionary leadership of its Chief Minister, Shri Prithviraj Chavan, and ably supported by dynamic Forest Minister, Dr. Patangrao Kadam, has been judged to be India’s Best Tiger State for 2012. This is in recognition of the dramatic improvement in tiger protection in Maharashtra. Tiger numbers have risen from just under 170 to around 200. As many as 1,200 vacant forest guard and frontline posts have been filled. A Tiger Protection Force has been established with two battalions of 180 persons. Tiger corridors have been strengthened. 500 sq. km of inviolate forests have been declared as sanctuaries. Above all, in the process, the relationship between people and parks has significantly improved because of policies that recognise the contribution of local communities to the vital task of tiger protection.
For this, we honour the State of Maharashtra, under the leadership of its visionary Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, with the Best Tiger State Award, 2012.
First published in: Sanctuary Asia, Vol XXXII No. 6, December 2012.