Declare Mhadei sanctuary as tiger reserve, says NTCA




A National Tiger Conservation Authority report has recommended upgradation of the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary to a tiger reserve observing that the protected area could become a deathtrap if not managed properly.   

The report authored by assistant inspector-general of forests Rajendra Garawad has also advised the government to take immediate steps for enhancing legal status of
the sanctuary.      

“In view of the unfortunate death of tigers, the state government may take immediate steps for enhancing the legal status of the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary to that of a tiger reserve. Declaring the sanctuary as a tiger reserve will provide much-needed access to technical, financial and monitoring support from the NTCA for safeguarding the conservation values of the sanctuary,” the report has said.  

The step would empower local communities residing inside the sanctuary by giving access to development opportunities as they would be able to utilise the voluntary resettlement scheme for joining the mainstream society, the report has said.  

The report has mentioned that according to wildlife activists, who wished to remain anonymous, presence of tigers inside the sanctuary is a well-known and documented fact and no sincere and serious step has been taken for conservation and protection of tigers.  

The state might become a deathtrap for tigers if the protected areas are not upgraded to legal status of a tiger reserve and if there is no strong protection regime in place, the report
has observed.  

The report has also recommended setting up of anti-poaching camps (until the area is declared as a tiger reserve), delineation of sanctuary boundary, systematic survey of boundaries of the sanctuary, setting up of a state-level taskforce for management of protected areas and developing an informer network, among others.  

The report was prepared by a committee which was constituted by the Union ministry for environment and forests after the poisoning of four tigers in January this year.