With Increased Green Cover, Telangana Forests Rolling Out Red Carpet To Tigers From Maharashtra

With habitat improvement works, increased green cover and prey base, forest areas of Telangana bordering Maharashtra are rolling out the red carpet to tigers in recent times.

With Increased Green Cover, Telangana Forests Rolling Out Red Carpet To Tigers From Maharashtra

According to Telangana Forest Department officials, there are increased instances of tigers moving into the state in recent years from Maharashtra even as there has also been a rise in the population of the big cats in the state.      

The officials cite, besides better green cover and prey bases, spillover population of tigers from Tipeshwar and Tadoba (reserves) in Maharashtra among the factors for migration of the tigers into wildlife areas of the state and Kagaznagar Forest division in Kumaram Bheem Asifabad district in particular.  

The officials further said a few of them are also making Telangana forests their home.        

The officials said they are developing a lot of grasslands due to which herbivore population is growing and there has been an increase in tiger and leopard population also in the state. 

A team of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), which took up evaluation of the Kawal Tiger Reserve (KTR) and Amrabad Tiger Reserve (ATR) in Telangana last month had appreciated the good work being taken up in the KTR corridor area like habitat improvement works including development of water sources and grasslands and said it gives an impression that Telangana state has laid a red carpet for migrating Tigers from Maharashtra, forest officials pointed out.  

Kawal Tiger Reserve (KTR) corridor in the state has a notified way connecting Kawal to other tiger reserves in Maharashtra.    

"There has been a rise in the number of tigers moving into the corridor area. So this has a good forested area and good prey base like spotted deer and sambar and other animals and is suitable as a tiger habitat. And then we have spillover population of tigers from Tipeshwar and Tadoba where their population is increasing and the excess population is now slowly moving towards Kagaznagar in search of territory,” a senior Forest Department official told PTI.   

"We try to provide all suitable habitats for the migrating tigers like grasslands, water bodies, and then prey animals and also protection. We will try to give as much support as possible with the idea that they should become residents here," the official explained.

Around eight tigers are moving in the corridor area, which is slightly high this year when compared to previous years, the official said adding they come and some stay back and some may tend to go back and then they make an appearance again.

"In the last five to six years we have seen that the tigresses have given birth in our area,” he said.       
Now movement of tigers is also reported from new areas--Eturnagaram, Kinnerasani, Pakala and neighbouring areas, the official said.         

Asked about the tiger population in Telangana, the officials said the numbers are improving and they were hopeful that it could be more than 26 (which is the last count of tiger population).    

When tigers disperse from the source area and establish new territory, in the process sometimes there are situations where there is conflict between man and animals.          

Tigers, in search of territory, are constantly on the move and during this period they come across some habitation, cultivated areas, cattle movement and people, and sometimes incidents of killing of cattle and sometimes attacks on humans are reported.       

"We also try to improve the prey base by relocating the animals from areas where they are in excess like national parks and zoo parks. So we translocate them and release them in the areas where tigers are moving," the official said.        

A team of trackers also monitor movement of tigers and if they are found moving near a habitation then local people are alerted to be careful.    

Encroachments of forest areas continue to be a big problem, the official said. 

The process of rehabilitation of villages from the core of tiger reserves has begun and the government is confident of taking up more villages for relocation in the two Tiger Reserves, which will increase the availability of inviolate areas for wild animals.