Odisha to release tigers in forests to increase population
Bhubaneswar: Odisha government has been planning to launch an ambitious project by releasing adult Royal Bengal Tigers in low tiger density forests to enhance the number of big cats. "We are planning to release a pair of tigers at the Satkosia tiger reserve in Angul district on a pilot basis. If the scheme is successful, the government may undertake similar efforts in other forests," Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Sandeep Tripathy said on Monday.
The tigers to be released would probably be brought from outside the state.
Tripathy said the tiger relocation programmes had been successful at Sariska National Park of Maharashtra and Panna National Park of Madhya Pradesh.
According to the 2016 tiger census, Odisha has only 40 Royal Bengal Tigers -- 13 males, 24 females and three calves. There are only two big cats - one male and a female, at Satkosia forest division, forest officials said.
Satkosia has been chosen on a pilot basis as food would not be major problem for the big there due to presence of large number of animals of different species there.
"We have identified particular sites with proper habitat and prey for the tigers. If the programme yields fruitful results, it will be extended to other parts of the state," he said.
Stating that Odisha's plan has been intimated to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Tripathy said a team of forest officials would soon visit Sariska and the Panna National Parks to gather information on the programme.