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Posted at: Oct 1, 2016, 12:50 AM; last updated: Oct 1, 2016, 12:50 AM (IST)

Tiger reintroduction cannot be done soon: Biologist

Tiger reintroduction cannot be done soon: Biologist

Jotirmay Thapliyal

Tribune News Service

Dehradun, September 30

The tiger reintroduction programme cannot be undertaken in the country for the next few years due to inadequate habitat.

Tiger biologist and senior Wildlife Institute of India scientist Qamar Qureshi said while there was growing demand for tiger relocation to various protected areas of the country, it would take some years as present there was no habitat in the country suitable where tiger could be reintroduced.

The Wildlife Institute of India had successfully undertaken first tiger re-location in Sariskain in 2008, which proved a big success and received a tremendous response from the tiger range countries across the globe. It was followed by another success at Panna in 2009 where tiger reintroduction was again done successfully.

He said tiger reintroduction though was an effective means to revive lost tigers but any reintroduction could only be done when the habitat of the protected area where tiger has to be reintroduced must be made suitable. “The evaluation of the protected habitat where tigers are proposed to be re-introduced has to be done in totality to ensure success to any tiger re-introduction programme. Presently, there is no habitat that fits the bills,” he said.

Significantly, many protected areas in the country are anxiously awaiting the tiger re-introduction. Even for the Rajaji Tiger Reserve, the Wildlife Institute of India had some time back prepared a tiger re-introduction plan for the reserve which calls for bringing in three to four tigers and relocating it on the western sector of the reserve. The western sector of the reserve has remained virtually tigerless for long while eastern sector of the Rajaji tiger reserve has a population of tigers. For another tiger reserve like Buxa tiger reserve in North Bengal, a tiger reintroduction programme is on the pipeline.

The WII tiger re-location project that started helping revival of tiger in Sariska in 2008 after this protected area reported complete annihilation of tigers was appreciated worldwide and even countries like Cambodia are planning to approach the Government of India for a similar activity in their country.

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