155 cheetals shifted to Nauradehi, 900 more to be translocated after monsoon

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 12 Jul 2018 10:19:04



By Ankita Garg

Ambitious to make the tiger re-introduction project successful at Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary, the Forest Department has translocated 155 Spotted Deer (cheetals) successfully. The department has planned to shift at least 1,000 spotted deer to the wildlife sanctuary.The project of cheetal translocation was started by Forest Department during April 2018. As forest officials were scared of translocation, they sent only five cheetals in first batch through captive Boma (natural shifting process) in first phase. The confidence of successful translocation of animals in first phase motivated the concern officials and they sent the herd of cheetals in next phases. The translocation is targeted to be completed by end of year 2018. As it is breeding period for the herbivores animals, forest department has kept pause the translocation. The process will get resume from September onwards. “Monsoon is breeding period of cheetals and we also face transportation issue in rainy season so translocation has been paused for a while. We will resume this just after monsoon but at present 155 animals have been successfully shifted to the Nauradehi,” said Alok Kumar, Additional Principal Chief Secretary of Forest (APCCF Wildlife). He further informed that there are surplus numbers of spotted deer at Pench Tiger Reserve so the translocation project will help to shift the cheetal from high density to low density area. The work of capturing spotted deers for translocation is being done under the watchful eyes of wild life experts.

“Our tiger re-introduction plan got kicked off in March under which one male and one female big cat have been relocated. Now the pair of tiger is settled in the area and they are usually being sighted in the same area which is good news. Male tiger has been brought from Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve while tigress was brought from Kanha National Park. In second phase of project, a pair of big cat will also be brought to sanctuary in near future. At present, we are trying to manage the ratio of animals inside the sanctuary area,” added APCCF Alok Kumar. He further said that sanctuary has capacity of providing safe heaven to 20 to 21 tigers. Tiger re-introduction plan contains various points including translocation of herbivores and carnivores animals, water management, grass land, security, village relocation, etc. He said project of translocating 1000 spotted deer was approved by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and other concerned authorities. But capturing spotted deer in a natural way is quite tough task due to which their relocation is turning out to be time consuming exercise. He said Boma technique is being used to capture spotted deers in Pench Tiger Reserve. After shifting spotted deer, second phase of project would start with translocation of pair of tiger and in third phase, village relocation work will be done.

Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary is situated 140 km away from Jabalpur district. There are about 15 villages situated at border area of the sanctuary out of which 8 villages have given their consent for relocation. The department is talking to remaining 7 villages for relocation issues. He further said that in future, tigers from unprotected forest areas could be also shifted to Nauradehi Sanctuary. Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary is covering about 1,197 square km of area and it is the largest wildlife sanctuary of Madhya Pradesh in India. The sanctuary located in the centre of state covering parts of Sagar, Damoh, Narsinghpur and Raisen districts. It is about 90 km from Jabalpur and about 56 km from Sagar.