Translocation of two tigers from Rajasthan's Ranthambore Tiger Reserve to the Mukundra and the Sariska reserves has been cleared by the technical committee of the National Tiger Conservation Authority, an official said here.
The state forest department official said the big cats will be shifted after one more sanction from the Centre. "NTCA's technical committee has cleared a proposal of the state forest department to translocate one tiger to Sariska and another to Mukundra," Seduram Yadav, Field Director of Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, told PTI.
He said in the next phase, two tigresses will be shifted, and a proposal for the same has already been sent. Field Director of Mukundra Tiger Reserve S P Singh said preparations for translocation of a male tiger from Ranthambore are in place, and after another sanction is received, the translocation will be done within a few days.
After this, there is another proposal to shift one tigress to Mukundra, which has an area of 792 square kilometres. In the last few years, the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve has seen a growth in its big cat population and the space for tigers is shrinking.
At the same time, the number of tigers in other tiger reserves has to be increased. Apart from Ranthambore, Rajasthan has three more tiger reserves in Sariska, Mukundra and newly notified Ramgarh Vishdhari.
Ranthambore, spread over 1,334 sq km in Sawai Madhopur district, has 78 big cats – 32 female and 26 male. Rests are sub-adults and cubs. Since Ranthambore is rich in habitat and prey base, the number of tigers is higher there, another official said.
In the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar, the number of tigers is 27 – nine male, 11 female and seven cubs. The Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve (Kota) has one tigress, and the Ramgarh Vishdhari (Bundi) has one tiger and one tigress.
The RTR field director said the dispersal of adult tigers is increasing, particularly those who do not have a territory, which is nearly a dozen, and most of such big cats are in the periphery area. Shrinking areas increase the possibility of territorial fights as well as human-animal conflicts.
"The population of tigers is rising in Ranthambore and they need space. This is one of the reasons behind relocation of big cats from there," another official of the forest department said. Over a dozen tigers in Ranthambore (aged between 3-5 years) are under special monitoring as they do not have their own territories and are moving in the periphery. The department is monitoring their movement and has accordingly placed camera traps.
(With PTI inputs)