By Ankita Garg
Though neighbouring Chhattisgarh wrote to the Madhya Pradesh Forest Department to release two tigresses and one tiger for Achanakmar Tiger Reserve (ATR) and Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary, but it has not mentioned the fulfilment of safety conditions. The proposal to translocate three big cats to Chhattisgarh is being discussed for past two years. Chief Wildlife Warden of Chhattisgarh Forest Department wrote to the MP Forest Department that National Conservation Authority (NTCA) has approved the translocation of two females and one male. On December 19, 2022, Chhattisgarh State Wildlife Board meeting held under chairmanship of Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel approved to bring two females and one male tiger from Madhya Pradesh.
The committee formed by MP Government on this proposal recommended for approval of proposed translocation of two females and one male on certain conditions. The committee asked Chhattisgarh to place a protection plan, an in-situ enclosure to be constructed for conservation breeding of prey species. On June 20, Chhattisgarh Government wrote to the Madhya Pradesh seeking two female and one male tiger but it has not mentioned the preparation of two condition put by the committee for safety of wildlife. MP Forest Department has already identified two tigers to be released from Kanha Tiger Reserve. The proposal of translocation was submitted by Global Tiger Forum (GTF), an inter-governmental international body working exclusively for conservation of tigers. The tiger augmentation plan aim to release Madhya Pradesh’s tiger in ATR in Mungeli district of Chhattisgarh which shares a border with Kanha Tiger Reserve of MP.
Concerned team has developed water sources, grassland and also increase the population of herbivore which serve as a prey base in tiger reserves. According to forest official, Achanakmar was recognised as a tiger reserve in the year 2009 with tiger population around 27. Census 2010 reported population of tiger in ATR as 18, marginal drop of 9 tigers. During year 2011, tiger count in ATR was plunged to 12 while Census 2022 reported tigers in ATR are only 5. Concerned over the declining population of tigers in ATR, in-principle consent was given to reintroduce big cats in Barnawapara Sanctuary where they were last sighted in 2010.