BHUBANESWAR: As Kerala slowly recovers from the devastating floods, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is concerned about the two tiger reserves in the southern State.
Periyar and Paramabikulam are two notified tiger reserves in Kerala.
Member Secretary of NTCA Dr Anup Kumar Nayak on Thursday said it would seek a status on damage to the two tiger reserves from the State Forest Department shortly. Nayak, Additional Director General of Project Tiger, is currently on an official visit to Odisha.
Tiger count in Kerala witnessed a significant rise from 71 in 2010 to 136 in 2014. Going by the field survey as part of the all India tiger estimation which started earlier this year, signs are that tiger population may have increased further. However, the deluge is apprehended to have caused damage to the habitats as well as the felines.
“The devastating nature of the floods is a concern for the two tiger reserves which are very good habitats for the big cats in the Western Ghats landscape. The NTCA will seek a status on tigers as well as the reserves soon,” Nayak told The Express here.
The unprecedented rainfall which triggered the worst floods in the State led to massive landslide and caused widespread destruction of forests.While there has been no report on the extent of damage to tiger habitats yet, the impact of flood on Wayanad which is major tiger bearing region is a cause of worry. In fact, environmentalists and conservationists have been demanding Wayanad to be declared as a tiger reserve for sometime.
The NTCA chief said apart from enquiring about the tiger reserves, condition of corridors has also to be verified in view of the natural disaster that struck Kerala because connectivity is very crucial for tigers.