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Navegaon-Nagzira tiger reserve gets National Tiger Conservation Authority's green signal



Updated On - Sunday, 22 December 2013

25, November 2013

NAGPUR: National Tiger Conservation Authority(NTCA) has notified Navegaon-Nagzira as fifthtiger reserve of the state and 46th of the country. The new reserve totals 655 sq km area spread overBhandara and Gondia districts of Vidarbha. It comprises five protected areas (PAs) including Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary (152 sq km), New Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary (151 sq km), Navegaon National Park (133 sq km), Navegaon Wildlife Sanctuary (123 sq km) and Koka Wildlife Sanctuary (97 sq km). 

The four existing tiger reserves in the state are Tadoba-Andhari (625 sq km), Melghat (1677 sq km), Sahyadri (569 sq km) and Pench (257 sq km). All except Sahyadri are located in Vidarbha. The last sanctuary to be declared a tiger reserve was Kawal in Andhra Pradesh. 

Though chief wildlife warden Sarjan Bhagat said he had no intimation about the notification, a letter issued to principal secretary (forests) by SP Yadav, deputy inspector general of NTCA, on November 21, states that the proposal has been approved. Now state will come out with a final notification. The proposal was placed before the technical committee on October 31, 2013. Based on recommendation of the committee, the competent authority accorded approval under Section 38V of the amended Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, for creation of reserve. 

"Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR) has been approved with a condition that the state government will now have to identify and notify the buffer area of the reserve at the earliest," a NTCA official told TOI. 

Prafulla Bhamburkar, manager of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), said the main objective to declare the area as tiger reserve was to protect, restore, manage and maintain representative biodiversity along with ecological processes and conservation of wild gene pool with focus on tigers. "It will also help better protection with more funds flowing in from the Centre and better tiger breeding," he added. 

Currently, 655 sq km area has only 5-7 tigers. With better security after the areas getting tiger reserve status, tiger numbers is expected to go up. With comparable area, Tadoba has more than 40 tigers. 

On September 8, 2009, then environment minister Jairam Ramesh had asked Maharashtra chief minister to declare Navegaon-Nagzira a tiger reserve. The proposal was first sent to government in September 2010 but it was delayed for various reasons. A fresh proposal was submitted on October 14, 2013. 

The ministry of environment & forests (MoEF) plans to declare six new tiger reserves in Pilibhit (Uttar Pradesh), Ratapani (Madhya Pradesh), Sunabeda (Odisha), Mukundara Hills (Rajasthan), Satyamangalam (Tamil Nadu) and Bor (Maharashtra). As the area of Bor and New Bor is 120 sq km, too small to be a reserve, it is being treated as satellite core of Pench. 

Published by: Times of India

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