Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s Satkosia Tiger Reserve would receive three pairs of tigers as the Madhya Pradesh government has granted an in-principle approval to translocate the tigers, said an official.
The Odisha government had requested the Madhya Pradesh government for three pairs of tigers to be sent to the Satkosia Tiger Reserve. The move of the state government is aimed at increasing tiger population in the tiger reserve.
MP government’s decision came after the technical committee of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) gave its nod for the project.
As per NTCA’s standard operating procedure, the decision to choose the source population for reintroducing tigers hinges on similarities of genetic makeup.
Satkosia spreads along the magnificent gorge over the mighty river Mahanadi in Odisha. Established in 1976 as a wildlife sanctuary, it is one of the best ecosystems in the country, representing a diverse floral and faunal extravaganza.
The area was declared as Satkosia Tiger Reserve in 2007, comprising two adjoining wildlife sanctuaries-the Satkosia Gorge sanctuary and Baisipalli sanctuary.
The Reserve is spread over 4 districts-Angul, Cuttack, Nayagarh and Boudh.
The reserve has an area of 963.87sq km with 523.61sq km as a core area. The area is also a part of the Mahanadi elephant reserve.
According to the 2016 tiger census, Odisha has only 40 Royal Bengal Tigers. There are only two big cats – one male and a female – at Satkosia forest division.
The forest department has selected Satkosia for the relocation of tigers as they will get a good food source since a large number of preys such as deer and other similar species live there, said a forest official.