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ROLE OF WILDLIFE CORRIDORS IN TIGER CONSERVATION



  May 08, 2024

ROLE OF WILDLIFE CORRIDORS IN TIGER CONSERVATION



Maharashtra's plan to translocate tigers to the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve (STR) is a strategic effort to rejuvenate the tiger population in the region. STR, established in 2010, spans the districts of Kolhapur, Satara, Sangli, and Ratnagiri. Despite its significant area and status as a tiger reserve, STR has struggled with low tiger numbers due to various factors including poaching, an inadequate prey base, and habitat degradation.

Why Translocate Tigers to STR?

The primary goal of translocating tigers from the Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) is to introduce breeding capable individuals in hopes of establishing a sustainable tiger population in STR. This method has been seen as a quicker solution to counter the very low to negligible breeding rates observed in STR.

What Are Wildlife Corridors?

Wildlife corridors are crucial for maintaining ecological continuity in fragmented habitats. These corridors are paths that allow animals, like tigers, to move between different habitats, which is essential for breeding, hunting, and maintaining genetic diversity. The Sahyadri-Konkan wildlife corridor, connecting forests in STR, Goa, and Karnataka, is vital for this purpose.

Importance of the Sahyadri-Konkan Corridor

This corridor is particularly significant as it links tiger populations from the richer genetic pools of Karnataka’s forests to the smaller, isolated groups in Maharashtra and Goa. Ensuring the integrity of this corridor is paramount for the success of the translocation project as it facilitates natural dispersal and reduces the risk of human-wildlife conflict.

Challenges and Solutions

The corridor's effectiveness is often compromised by human activities such as agriculture, urban development, and linear infrastructure projects that can fragment these crucial pathways. Mitigation measures like wildlife underpasses and overpasses are critical and have been implemented in various parts of India to ensure safe passage for tigers and other wildlife.

Long-Term Perspective

While translocation provides a short-term increase in tiger numbers, the long-term success of such projects depends heavily on the maintenance and strengthening of these corridors. They are not just lifelines for wildlife but also serve as important ecological assets that support biodiversity and ecological balance across regions.

By focusing on these corridors, conservation efforts can help ensure a sustainable future for India's tiger populations and the ecosystems they inhabit. The coordinated efforts across states and regions to manage and enhance these corridors are vital for the success of tiger conservation in India.


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