Further relocations only after translocated tigers settle down in new habitat: NTCA

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Rishikesh, Jan 18 (PTI) The tiger relocation project in Uttarakhand will be taken further only after two tigers, one male and the other female, that were relocated recently from Corbett to Rajaji Tiger Reserve settle down completely in their new habitat, the NTCA has written to the state Forest Department.

It implies that that the proposed relocation of two more tigresses and one more tiger to the RTR from Corbett may take some more time.

It was conveyed to the Uttarakhand Forest Department by the National Tiger Conservation Authority through a letter by NTCA's DIG (Forest) Surendra Mehra, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Rajeev Bhartari said.

The NTCA letter came a few days after a tiger relocated recently from Corbett to Rajaji ran away from its enclosure at Motichoor range of the reserve dropping its radio collar behind.

When contacted NTCA's DIG (Forest) Surendra Mehra said there is a big difference between the habitat of Corbett and that of Rajaji Tiger Reserve's western part where the two tigers have recently been moved.

The biggest difference between the two habitats is the 19-km long railway tracks that pass through Rajaji Tiger Reserve's western part spread over an area of 532 square km.

Intense patrolling and vigilance needs to be done in the area till the two relocated tigers get fully acclimatised to their changed surroundings and till that time fresh relocations at RTR can wait, Mehra said.

Constant vigil of their location can be maintained through camera traps, scientific examination of their faeces and pug marks.

With a translocated tiger having run away recently from its enclosure in Motichoor range of Rajaji dropping its radio collar behind, Mehra suggested a slew of other measures to step up vigilance at the reserve.

The NTCA DIG advised the Uttarakhand Forest department to send its captive elephants to the western part of Rajaji to intensify patrolling at the reserve and step up vigilance.

Keeping a tab on the movement of tigers from the back of elephants in the absence a radio collar is an effective alternative method, he said.

Mehra also suggested that forest guards should be encouraged to use the wireless communication system and coordinate more with Dehradun forest division for better monitoring.

Intense patrolling is also required in wildlife corridors adjoining the western border of the reserve and work on National Highway Authority of India projects should be finished fast to reduce human interference in the corridors.

Dialogue should also be established with villagers living in the fringe areas of the reserve to caution them so that they don't step into the forests. They should also be asked to inform authorities in case they happen to spot any tiger movement, he said. PTI CORR ALM AAR AAR