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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Wandering Tigers

With the creation of National Park and Wildlife Sanctuaries a myopia has set in. That the tigers survive in  protected areas only is a result of this assumption. Tigers are peripatetic animals and can traverse a long distance to reach other habitats. This is more by instinct and need based, driven perhaps by hunger or territorial subjugation...whatever. Tigers may also seek areas without any competition hence there are number of time whence they are seen wandering in reserve forests.

But the greater abundance of tigers is always present in critical tiger habitats. These are also classified as core zones in National Parks. But thanks to successful tiger conservation in popular tiger reserves the big cat population in buffer areas and surrounding reserve forests has also swelled up.  The newspaper report frequently about tiger sightings in areas they are not thought to be. Most of the tiger sightings outside the tiger reserves goes unrecorded as villagers sometimes do not report these sightings. Another reason for this is difficulty in identifying the big cat from its cousin the leopard. 
Bandhavgarh Tiger Pic Teerath Singh

Every time I have spent at buffer zones in Kanha and Bandhavgarh I have come across signs of tigers. My stay at Muchmucha Lodge near Bandhavgarh was made exciting by presence of tigers and leopards. Recently a huge male at Muchmucha was electrocuted by local shikaris.   

Similarly I hear tiger roaring near the Courtyard House at Patpara in Kanha buffers where the home stay is situated.

Few years back I had seen a tiger pair on Bagharaji Ghat near in Kundam Range of Jabalpur. A tiger was reported at Phool Sagar Ghat on the way from Jabalpur to Mandla. Tigers were present in whole of Mandla before hunting and forest destruction took place. Tigers are found in reserved forest all over Central India or Madhya Pradesh living in isolation perhaps. Kanha National Park is situated in Mandla District.

A tiger was seen in a forest range near Bhopal as reported in newspaper recently. Like wise these big cats are reported in many other places in the state of India.

Will we be able to secure a favored gene pool from this distribution or will the animal become extinct. The latter is not much of a conjecture. 
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