NTCA Proposal for Linking State's 2 Tiger Reserves
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has proposed that jurisdiction of the Similipal landscape should be expanded to include parts of Keonjhar so as to improve the wildlife corridor connecting State’s two tiger reserves - Similipal and Satkosia.
To enhance the tiger population and their genetic health, this corridor needs to be clearly established and protected, the national body of tiger conservation has suggested.
Since the two tiger reserves are part of the Central India tiger landscape, the NTCA has strongly advocated that the State Government should expand the jurisdiction of Similipal landscape and bring Anandpur Wildlife Division under it. Currently, it is under the ambit of Regional Chief Conservator of Forests (RCCF), Rourkela whereas RCCF, Baripada has jurisdictional control over Mayurbhanj and Balasore.
Sources in the Wildlife Wing said a proposal to this effect is already with the State Government and the tiger body wanted this to be expedited so that a corridor management can be developed.
In fact, a joint NTCA-WTI study in 2010 had outlined existence of the corridor connecting the two important tiger habitats of the State and a macro plan for the corridor was prepared by Similipal Tiger Reserve authorities too.
The fresh suggestions came from Chairman of NTCA Rajesh Gopal and Inspector General HS Negi who were here on a two-day visit to review Tiger Conservation Plans (TCPs) of the two notified habitats. The two returned to Delhi on Wednesday.
During the meeting, the NTCA asked the Satkosia Tiger Reserve management to prepare the micro plan for corridor development and management at its end. The Satkosia plan will have to comprise corridor in Angul and Dhenkanal and contiguous parts of Jajpur district.
Similarly, the Similipal plan will consist of Mayurbhanj, Balasore and Anandpur apart from Hadagarh Wildlife Sanctuary.
This will facilitate conduct of wildlife sign survey and movement tracking to establish the corridor and subsequently, conserve the same. However, it would require a nod from the Forest and Environment Department. Beyond Anandpur, the tracts would remain under control of Rourkela.
The NTCA also reviewed the core area management of Satkosia which experiences human interference because of fishing and tourism.
Though the core must remain an inviolate space, the gorge of Satkosia TR witnesses regular fishing - through traditional methods - which has also led to a fast dwindling of the gharial population in Mahanadi river system. The Satkosia management has also been asked to streamline tourism within its core zone to reduce human presence.