50 years as Project Tiger Reserve

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    • Recently, Bandipur completed 50 years as Project Tiger Reserve.

    About

    • Bandipur was among the first nine reserves to be brought under the flagship programme of Project Tiger in 1973,  it included most areas that were already a protected area as Venugopal Wildlife Park.
    • It is situated in two contiguous districts (Mysore and Chamarajanagar) of Karnataka and is located at the tri-junction area of the States Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. 
    • The Bandipur Tiger Reserve is an important component of the country’s first biosphere reserve – Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve and the landscape spanning Bandipur, Nagarahole, Mudumalai, and Wayanad complex is home not only to the large  number of tigers in the country but is also to the largest Asian Elephant population.
    •  It lies in one of the richest biodiversity areas of the country. It is surrounded by
      • Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (Tamil Nadu) in the South,
      • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (Kerala) in the South-west &
      • The Kabini Reservoir separates the Bandipur and Nagarahole Tiger Reserve on the North-west.

    Project Tiger :

    • The government passed the Wildlife Protection Act in 1972 for the protection and preservation of different species of flora and fauna.
    • The Project Tiger was launched by the Indira Gandhi government in 1973 from the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand with an ambitious aim of increasing the population of the tiger  in the country.
    • The initial reserves covered under Project Tiger were the Jim Corbett, Manas, Ranthambore, Simlipal, Bandipur, Palamau, Sundarbans, Melghta and Kanha national parks.

    Tiger reserves:

    • From 9 tiger reserves since its formative years, the Project Tiger coverage has increased to 54  at present, spread out in 18 of our tiger range states.
    • The tiger reserves are constituted on a core/buffer strategy.
      • Core areas have the legal status of a national park or a sanctuary.
      • Whereas, buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple use area.

    Indian Initiatives:

    • The government has set up a Tiger Protection Force to combat poachers and funded relocation of villagers to minimise human-tiger conflicts.
    • National Tiger Conservation Authority was established in 2005 following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force, to reorganise management of Project Tiger and the many Tiger Reserves in India. It is the overarching body for conservation of tigers in India.
    • Various Centrally Sponsored Schemes, such as Project Tiger and Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats, provide financial and technical assistance to states.
    • 54 Tiger Reserves in India generate approximately 4.3 million man-days of employment, and funds from the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) are being used to promote voluntary village resettlement from core areas of the Tiger Reserves.
    • Increased punishment for offences involving a tiger reserve or its core area.
    • Increased anti-poaching activity, including a special strategy for monsoon patrolling.
    • State-level steering committees chaired by Chief Ministers, as well as the establishment of the Tiger Conservation Foundation.

    Way Forward

    • Although India  has achieved success at protected area level ,we are still lacking in conservation at the ecosystem level.Going forward india needs to concentrate on development of tiger corridors and interconnection between various ecosystems.

    Source:TH