Now, U'khand Forest Dept to translocate tiger to Rajaji reserve

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Rishikesh, Dec 31 (PTI) The Uttarakhand Forest Department which translocated a tigress from the Corbett to Rajaji Tiger Reserve now faces a more challenging task of relocating to the park a tiger as her potential mate.

The challenge for the expert team deputed for the translocation exercise is to ensure that the tiger being relocated does not own a territory of its own, Uttarakhand Principal Chief Conservator of Forests ( Wildlife) Vinod Kumar Singhal said.

Younger tigers aged three or four, which do not own a territory of their own are preferred for translocation as relocating a tiger which owns a territory leads to fresh territorial fights among the new contenders, often resulting in the killing of young cubs and also sometimes in the death of the physically weaker one.

'The job of relocating a tiger is much more challenging and complicated than relocating a tigress,' Singhal said.

Finding out whether or not a tiger rules over a territory is where all the challenge lies, he says.

It is better not to disturb a tiger who owns a territory of its own because removing it to a new location gives rise to new conflicts in the territory vacated by it.

The new contenders fight for ownership of the vacated territory and often kill the cubs of tigresses whom they choose as their mates, Singhal explains.

Tigers claim a territory after proving their superiority in terms of physical strength over the rest of the tigers inhabiting it which also gives them their exclusive right over the tigresses living in that territory as their mates.

Once a tiger has claimed a territory it is at liberty to choose its mate there for the purpose of procreation.

It kills the cubs of the tigress it chooses as its mate and protects it from other potential contenders.

Considering the complex nature of the job of selecting a tiger who is 100 per cent fit for relocation, the selection team has been provided all resources that it may require and a flexible timeframe for the job, Singhal said.

The selection team comprising scientists of the Wildlife Institute of India, experts from the National Tiger Conservation Authority and senior officials of the Corbett Tiger Reserve have begun their quest on Corbett's landscape for a tiger suitable for relocation to Rajaji Tiger Reserve, he said.

In Uttarakhand's first successful attempt at tiger translocation, a tigress was translocated on December 24 from the Bijrani range of the Corbett Tiger Reserve to the Rajaji Tiger Reserve to boost the tiger population in the western part of the reserve. PTI CORR ALM RDK RDK