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Opinion

Missing Tigress from Rajaji Reserve: NTCA Seeks Uttarakhand Government Report

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Days after a tiger was reported missing in the Rajaji Tiger Reserve, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on Wednesday requested a factual report from the Uttarakhand Forest Department in this regard.

In a letter to the Uttarakhand Forest Department Wildlife Director and Rajaji Tiger Reserve Field Director Vaibhav C Mathur, Deputy Inspector General of Forests, NTCA, has sought “a factual status on the matter as soon as possible. possible”.

On Tuesday, the Delhi-based NGO, the Center for Wildlife and Environment Litigation (CWEL) Foundation, had written to the NTCA about the missing tigress.

Bhanu Bansal, founder of the CWEL Foundation said: “Not being able to track the national animal in such a way clearly shows the bureaucratic attitude of the Rajaji administration. It is the duty of officials to protect and conserve wildlife in their jurisdiction. We have sought urgent intervention from NTCA in this regard and hope that the forest department can find the missing tigress. ”

On Monday, the Uttarakhand forest department launched a search operation to find the tigress and deployed four teams on elephants to search for her.

The 18 to 20-year-old tigress disappeared from the western part of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve and has not been seen or caught on camera in nearly two months.

Officials from the Rajaji Tiger Reserve said Wednesday they had found signs of the tigress in one of the ranges and were working to confirm whether it was the same animal.

Rajaji Tiger Reserve Director DK Singh said: “We found a long trail of pug markings in the Kansaro range of the reserve on Wednesday. The size of the pug markings matches the dimensions of the tigress’s legs from previous records. To confirm their presence, we are installing camera traps throughout the area and we should be able to get an image in a few days. ”

The Rajaji Tiger Reserve has only two tigers in the western part and five Corbett tigers will be relocated to increase the population soon. The area from which the tigress disappeared is important due to the translocation process, which raises questions about security aspects.

State wildlife activist AG Ansari said: “We have heard for years about the relocation process, but first, the resident tigers must be protected in Rajaji. When the first relocation process occurred in the Sariska Tiger Reserve, the tigers were poached; we do not want a similar situation to be repeated here ”.

During the latest tiger estimate, the reserve was found to have 34 resident tigers, including 32 in its eastern part, which spans an area of ​​150 km2 and two in the western part, covering 570 km2.

The eastern and western parts of the reserve are divided by a busy traffic corridor, making it difficult for tigers to migrate between the two parts.

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