6 Rajasthan tigers in Kuno, MP afraid of losing lions
The Times Of India
AHMEDABAD: Rajasthan seems to be losing its tigers to Madhya Pradesh. The movement of tigers from Ranthambore national park in Rajasthan to Kuno-Palpur wildlife sanctuary has established the natural corridor between the two sanctuaries is functional. In April 2013, the Supreme Court had ordered translocation of Asiatic lions from Gujarat's Gir sanctuary to Kuno-Palpur.
Interestingly, instead of rejoicing over the growing number of tigers in Kuno, forest officials of the state are worried in view of a petition filed by a Gujarat-based NGO, Wildlife Conservation Trust-Rajkot, pending in the Supreme Court. The NGO has joined as party to the petition filed by the Rajasthan government claiming that there is a possibility of conflict between the two big cats because a natural corridor of movement exists between Kuno and Ranthambore.
Sources in the Gujarat forest department said that the tigers named, T-38 and T-71 — the latter is cub of the tiger named, T-30 — was first photographed in Kailadevi wildlife sanctuary. The same T-71 tiger has now established its territory in Kuno. (Kailadevi national park is a part of the Ranthambore tiger reserve.)
There are two tigers from Ranthambore which are currently in Kailadevi. They too are likely to move towards Kuno, the 350-odd square kilometer-large wildlife sanctuary, said the forest department officials.
The officials further said that, in all, six tigers from Kuno that have moved towards Madhya Pradesh had been caught on camera. Madhya Pradesh forest officials and members of World Wildlife Federation (WWF) have found four tigers from Ranthambore currently stationed in Kuno.
Sunny Shah, coordinator, WWF-India, Western Indian Tiger Landscape, said four tigers from Ranthambore are already in Madhya Pradesh. Two of these are male and are in Kuno-Palpur.
"The presence of two tigers — both from Ranthambore — have proved that Ranthambore-Kuno is a functional corridor and there are hopes that more male tigers from Ranthambore may soon follow suit," Shah said.
Ranthambore's T-38 tiger had crossed the Chambal river and entered Shivpuri district of Madhya Pradesh in 2010 and established its territory there.
Interestingly, forest officials of Madhya Pradesh are worried about the growing number of lions in Kuno in view of a petition filed by a Gujarat-based NGO, Wildlife Conservation Trust-Rajkot, pending in the Supreme Court. The NGO has joined as party to the petition filed by Rajasthan government claiming that there is a possibility of conflict between the two big cats because a natural corridor of movement exists between Kuno and Ranthambore.
This petition filed by Gujarat-based NGO, Wildlife Conservation Trust-Rajkot to join as party to Rajasthan government's petition warning about the risk of shifting lions to tiger-populated Kuno is considered as the last hurdle in shifting Gir lions to MP. Gujarat government has exhausted all legal options to prevent the lions' translocation after its curative petition was dismissed by the Supreme Court last week.
The NGO claims that the court was never informed about the contiguity between Ranthambore tiger reserve and Kuno wildlife sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.
However, this news offers some hope to Gujarat foresters at a time when the 12-member committee formed by the apex court to report on the proposed translocation of lions has sought the opinion of the National Tiger Conservation Authority on whether they wanted Kuno to be reserved as a tiger habitat or allow translocation of lions. Gujarat officials are planning to raise the presence of tigers in Kuno-Palpur during the next meeting which is scheduled shortly.