Experts await ‘Tiger Reserve’ label for Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary

Oct 05, 2022 | 07:18 IST

Experts await ‘Tiger Reserve’ label for Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary

While neighboring Maharashtra and Karnataka have declared forested tracts of the Western Ghats as tiger conservation units, Goa has yet to take the initiative to protect the big cats.

Team Herald

PANJIM: Through camera traps, the State Forest Department has obtained evidence that tigers roam many parts of Goa, including wildlife protected areas and tracks interspersed with human settlements that harbor animals whose big cats usually feed. The wildlife camera trap survey conducted in May spotted tigers in six different locations, covering the forested areas of Mollem, Mhadei and Surla.

From January to May this year, the presence of tigers was recorded 25 times by camera traps in Surla, Caranzol, Collem, Mollem and Bhoma regions. Apart from camera traps, the presence of tigers has been established by their droppings and litter. The Forest Department is awaiting the All India Tiger Estimate data, which is expected to be released soon by the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

“The protected areas of Goa and their contiguous forests of Karnataka and Maharashtra are among the best habitats for Western Ghats tigers, but need protection. Karnataka and Maharashtra have already declared tiger reserves and now is the time for Goa. We have enough evidence. We hope the tiger’s estimate will give it a boost,” a forestry official said.

The contiguous forests of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra and Radhanagari Reserve Forests and Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka, Chandoli National Park and Purna and Dodamarg Reserve Forests in Maharashtra have been named Tiger Conservation Units ( TCU).

“Just like how wildlife sanctuaries are protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, so are tiger reserves. The only difference is that we will be able to get funds under Project Tiger,” the official said.

Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary was one of the protected areas recently studied by forestry officials to assess forest suitability for a tiger reserve. The Bhagwan Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park in Mollem and Goa’s southernmost protected area, Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary, was also surveyed by forest workers.

Comments are closed.