By Ankita Garg :
In this concept, villages would not be relocated while locals will be trained and made aware to stay with tigers. The concept will be best example of tiger monitoring and corridor management in the country PCCF Alok Kumar
MP Forest Department has started working on ‘stepping stone concept’ to secure tiger corridors in 11 identified areas. In the first phase, this concept will be introduced in Kerwa-Ichawar corridor on experiment basis. To connect two corridors, special areas will be developed at a distance of 200 to 250 km where tigers will get sufficient food, water and favourable environment to move from one tiger reserve to another. As there are few villages coming around the corridors, Forest Department has planned to conduct educational training programme.
There are 15 villages, including Balupat, Sirali, Dundala, Borikhurd, etc in corridor from Kerwa to Ichawar where villagers will get training to stay with tigers. PCCF Wildlife Alok Kumar said tigers are migrating to new places for making their territory and killing prey. He said a tigress (T-2) of Bhopal forest gave birth to three cubs in her second time delivery. Out of these three cubs, one tiger formed his territory in Satpura National Park after travelling several distance. He further informed that a team of WII has made study in genetic inheritance of tigers and identified 11 corridors in Madhya Pradesh.
He said, stepping stone concept will be used in all these 11 corridors for safer movement of tigers. “In this concept, villages would not be relocated while locals will be trained and made aware to stay with tigers. The concept will be best example of tiger monitoring and corridor management in the country,” added PCCF Alok Kumar. In its study, WII team found that there was tiger corridor from Bhopal to Omkareshwar in early age. Now there are residential villages and encroachment of slums instead of passage for tigers. The 11 corridor that are identified by WII team are Ratapani-Omkareshwar sanctuary, Panna-Ratapani, Satpura-Melaghat Maharashtra, Bandhavgarh-Sanjay Dubri, Kanha-Pench, Satpura-Pench, Panna-Shivpuri, Ranipur UP)-Panna, Sanjay Dubri-Palamau Park (Jharkhand) via Ghasidar, Madhav-Kunopalpur and Kunopalpur-Ranthambore (Rajasthan).