From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : NPs mentioned in the news
Mains level : Tiger relocation issues
Sundari — a tigress shifted as part of India’s first inter-state translocation project in 2018 from Madhya Pradesh to Odisha has returned home.
What is the news?
- The five-year-old tigress Sundari spent 28 months in captivity in Satkosia Tiger Reserve, Odisha.
- The two states lingered on the process for her relocation despite the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) shelving off the much-vaunted inter-state tiger translocation drive.
What was the Tiger Relocation Project?
- The tiger relocation project was initiated in 2018 wherein two big cats, a male (Mahavir) from Kanha Tiger Reserve and a female (Sundari) from Bandhavgarh from MP were relocated to Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha.
- The relocation was meant to serve two purposes
- to reduce the tiger population in areas with excess tigers to majorly reduce territorial disputes and
- to reintroduce tigers in areas where the population has considerably reduced due to various reasons
How were Mahavir and Sundari chosen for the project?
- Both the big cats were selected for the translocation project as per the NTCA guidelines and in collaboration with the Wildlife Institute of India and the GoI.
- Two key factors were considered for choosing the animal — first, a dispersing young animal which is to find a new and second, an adult transient which was yet to establish any territory.
What is the Satkosia Tiger Reserve and why was it chosen?
- Encompassing an area of 963.87 sq km, the Satkosia Tiger Reserve spreads across four districts and has as its core area 523 sq km.
- According to NTCA, Satkosia falls under reserves where “there is a potential for increasing tiger populations”.
- Declared as a Tiger Reserve in 2007, Satkosia had a population of 12 tigers then. The numbers reduced to two in 2018.
- The purpose of the relocation was to repopulate tigers in the reserve areas.
Try this PYQ from CSP 2020:
Q.With reference to India’s Desert National Park, which of the following statements is correct?
- It is spread over two districts.
- There is no human habitation inside the Park.
- It is one of the natural habitats of Great Indian Bustard.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
(a) 1 and 2 only
(b) 2 and 3 only
(c) 1 and 3 only
(d) 1,2 and 3
Unexpected outcomes of the project
The project ran into trouble within weeks of initiation.
- The arrival of the tigers was followed by severe protests by villagers living on the fringes of the reserve and the matter eventually snowballing into a poll issue.
- Forest department officials were attacked and their offices burnt down by irate villagers most of whom were tribals.
- The villagers feared the big cats would endanger their livelihoods, lives and livestocks. They also alleged that they were not consulted or informed prior to the translocation.
- The major reason which contributed to the failure of the project was the lack of confidence and trust-building between the forest department and the villagers.
- Within months of the translocation, Mahavir was found dead and was killed in poaching.