Forest dept officials take measures to improve prey density in NSTR, Andhra

Now, the forest department officials are planning to shift the three tiger cubs to the NSTR region to help them survive in their natural habitat.
Spotted deer and Sambars were brought to Nagarajunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve from Nagarjuna fertilizers in Kakinada.
Spotted deer and Sambars were brought to Nagarajunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve from Nagarjuna fertilizers in Kakinada.Photo I Express

ONGOLE: In a major step towards the relocation of the three tiger cubs rescued in Atmakur of Nagarajunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) 14 months back, the forest department officials have started shifting the prey for the cubs. The officials have taken concrete measures aiming to increase the population of herbivorous animals and prey density in the Nallamala forest limits to cater the feeding requirements of wild animals prowling.

The initiative includes the relocation of animal species like cattle, antelopes and other herbivores from distant locations to the Nallamala forest area. The authorities brought as many as 15 spotted deer and 28 Sambars from a private zoo maintained by the Nagarjuna Fertilisers (Kakinada) in which they were grown earlier.

It is to be recalled that 14 months back four tiger cubs were rescued in Atmakur area of NSTR and were shifted to Tirupati Zoo for further nourishment. Unfortunately, one of the cubs died and it is learnt that the remaining are growing healthy.

Now, the forest department officials are planning to shift the three tiger cubs to the NSTR region to help them survive in their natural habitat. To make this happen, each tiger cub has to complete around 50 successful prey hunts in the wild. As a part of training, the officials set up special enclosures in around 15 hectares near Pedda Penta under the limits of Korrapadu in NSTR.

The officials have taken concrete measures aiming to increase the population of herbivorous animals and prey density.
The officials have taken concrete measures aiming to increase the population of herbivorous animals and prey density.Photo | Express

The NSTR, spread over five districts—Nandyal, Prakasam, Palnadu in Andhra Pradesh, Nalgonda and Mahabubnagar in Telangana—is the largest among all 53 tiger reserves in the country. According to the forest officials, with a reserve area of 3,728 sq km and a core area of 1,200 sq km, NSTR inhabits around 73 Bengal Tigers.

NSTR-Markapur Deputy Director (DD) Vighnesh Appavu, Nekkanti Forest Range Officer Aarif Khan brought all the 43 herbivore animals including 28 Sambars and 15 Spotted deer in special vehicles.

“We have successfully relocated 15 spotted deer to Tettagundam enclosure of the Dornala range, 6 sambars each to Peddapenta, Aarepenta enclosures situated in the Nekkanti, Korrapolu forest ranges, 16 Sambars to Pachharla enclosure limits,” said Dornala Forest Range officer E Visveswara Rao.

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