Published On : Fri, Apr 12th, 2024

Tigress from Tadoba to roar in Navegaon Nagzira Tiger Reserve

This is the third tigress from Tadoba being released in NNTR. This is the first conservation translocation experiment by Maharashtra

Nagpur: In yet another important milestone in the Tiger Conservation Translocation Programme, one tigress ‘NT-3’ from Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) was released into the core zone of Navegaon Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR) on Thursday evening. The striped big cat, fitted with a satellite GPS collar, came out of the cage with a roar and vanished into the woods. This is the third tigress from Tadoba being released in NNTR.

The tigress is one of the two siblings of the dominant tigress Roma (T-114) from Tadoba Reserve. The MoEFCC on September 15, 2022, had granted permission to translocate 4-5 tigers in NNTR. This is the third female to be released in the 653 sqkm to augment the tiger population in NNTR, which at present has 11 tigers as per the All India Tiger Estimation-2022.

On May 18, 2023, two young tigresses — the one (NT-1) captured from Armori in Gadchiroli and another (NT-2) from Pangdi near the Kolsa range of Tadoba — were released in the core area of NNTR. This is the first conservation translocation experiment by Maharashtra.

While NT-2 occupies both the core and buffer area, NT-1 left to settle down in the NNTR-Kanha corridor, over 60-70km from the tiger reserve in Balaghat. “A tigress deserting the park was one of the reasons why NNTR wanted a female from the core area,” said reports. Now, a third tigress has been released after 11 months.

According to State’s PCCF (Wildlife) Maheep Gupta, the time was needed to look for the right candidate. On Wednesday evening, a two-year-old female from the Tadoba range was captured by the Rapid Rescue Team (RRT) from the non-tourism zone of Katezari. It was radio-collared by the WII team and shifted to Nagzira reserve late at night.

As per Gupta, one more tigress will be released in NNTR after two months. “We have last year’s translocation experience and the same team is working on the project. One of the tigresses released last year has mated and is expected to deliver cubs. We have lost track of another tigress as it is moving in neighbouring MP.”

Wildlife conservationists said, “Apart from augmenting tiger numbers, the project is being implemented to tackle increasing man-animal conflict in Chandrapur district but tigresses captured from outside the protected areas adopt the same habitat even if released in the core area. Hence, handing over administrative control of the buffer area to NNTR is imperative. It is also mandatory as per the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).”

The state notified the 1,241 sq km area as NNTR’s buffer zone in December 2015. Even after 9-odd years, the buffer area has not been handed over to the tiger reserve.