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What is the News?
The first inter-state tiger relocation project has been suspended.
About the First Tiger Relocation Project:
- The National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA) launched the first Tiger Relocation Project in 2018.
- Under the Project, two tigers a male (Mahavir) from Kanha Tiger Reserve and a female (Sundari) from Bandhavgarh from MP, were relocated to Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha.
Why Relocation of Tigers? The relocation serves two purposes:
- To reduce the tiger population in areas with excess tigers to majorly reduce territorial disputes
- To reintroduce tigers in areas where the population has considerably reduced due to various reasons.
About Satkosia Tiger Reserve, and why was it chosen for Relocation?
- Satkosia Tiger Reserve comprises two adjoining sanctuaries of central Odisha named Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary and Baisipalli Sanctuary.
- The reserve lies in a transitional zone extending between the Chhota Nagpur Plateau and the Deccan Plateau.
- Satkosia was declared as a Tiger Reserve in 2007. It had a population of 12 tigers then. However, the numbers reduced to two in 2018.
- Hence, the purpose of the relocation was to repopulate tigers in the reserve areas. Also, Satkosia was found to fall under reserves where there is a potential for increasing tiger populations.
Why has then the Tiger Relocation Project suspended? The project got suspended due to the following reasons:
- Protests by villagers living on the sidelines of the forest as they felt that their lives and livestocks were endangered.
- Lack of confidence and trust-building between the forest department and the villagers.
- One of the tigers, Mahavir was found dead and a field inspection report claimed poaching as the cause of death.
- Further, the tigress Sundari was blamed for the death of a woman and another person. Hence, the tigress Sundari was then tranquilized and was shifted.
- Following this, the National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA) suspended the first tiger relocation project.
Source: Indian Express