AboutZoos, Since 2008


Indian vil­lage relo­ca­tion pro­vides tigers more space

pub­lished 23 April 2011 | mod­i­fied 07 April 2012

The elu­sive tigers of Cor­bett Tiger Reserve are set to get more breath­ing space with the tiger pop­u­la­tion ris­ing from 164 to 214 in the last four years. After Kazi­ranga, Cor­bett wit­nessed max­i­mum increase in tiger pop­u­la­tion. The Min­istry of Envi­ron­ment & Forests released Rs 65 crore (about 10 mil­lion Euros) for relo­cat­ing 1,000 homes in Sund­herkhal village.

Sun­derkhal lies in the tiger cor­ri­dor con­nect­ing dense for­est on two sides of the Kosi river. Prob­a­bly due to the increase in tiger pop­u­la­tion the num­ber of man-​tiger con­flicts have increased. Over 40 peo­ple have died in these type of con­flicts in the state in the last six months, which also resulted in the kill of about eight tigers. In Sun­derkhal vil­lage tigers at least killed a dozen peo­ple in the last four months. To pro­tect both human and tiger the National Tiger Con­ser­va­tion Author­ity (NTCA), the statu­tory body of the Min­istry of Envi­ron­ment, has decided to relo­cate the village.

The Cor­bett Tiger Reserve is sit­u­ated in the foothills of the Himalayas about 290 kilo­me­ter north­east of Delhi. The Reserve con­tains the Cor­bett National Park, Sonanadi Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary and a buffer­zone. Cor­bett National Park forms the core area of the Reserve, and is named after Jim Cor­bett, the pow­er­ful mis­sion­ary for wildlife preser­va­tion in India. Cor­bett who was born in India, served the British gov­ern­ment dur­ing World War I by train­ing allied sol­diers in jun­gle war­fare. Though hav­ing been engaged in lots of sports hunt­ing activ­i­ties in his early days, he later decided only to kill ani­mals for a rea­son. And he became a well-​known killer of man-​eating tigers in the regions of Kumaon and Garwhal.

The Park is the old­est National Park of the Indian sub­con­ti­nent and was estab­lished in August 1936. It attracts lots of vis­i­tors each year. The Park was one of the nine Tiger Reserves cre­ated at the launch of the Project Tiger in 1973. The orig­i­nal area of the Park was 324 km2 to which 200 km2 was added later. An area of 800 km2 was added as a buffer­zone for the Cor­bett Tiger Reserve in 1991. This area includes the whole of Kala­garh For­est Divi­sion (includ­ing Sonanadi Wildlife Sanc­tu­ary), and Ram­na­gar For­est Divi­sion. Apart from the tiger the Reserve is an impor­tant refuge for the Indian ele­phant, leop­ard cat, wild dog, Ind­ina pan­golin and hog deer.

map of Corbett National Park

The increased tiger pop­u­la­tion in Cor­bett has spread to the out­skirts of the big reserve, espe­cially in the Ram Nagar for­est divi­sion, where the Sun­derkhal vil­lage is located. The relo­ca­tion will take place on vol­un­tary basis but as an incen­tive each house­hold will receive either Rs 10 lakh (about 15 thou­sand Euros) or alter­na­tive land as com­pen­sa­tion. Unfor­tu­nately, there is a draw­back out­with NCTA’s plan and gen­eros­ity, as there is no plan to con­trol the growth of hotels/​resorts on the banks of the Kosi river around Sun­derkhal. The Cor­bett National Park is very pop­u­lar with tourists, which leads to devel­op­ment of a tourist indus­try in the region. “Most of these resorts have come up on rev­enue land which is not under the for­est department’s juris­dic­tion,” said a state for­est depart­ment offi­cial. In return tiger’s breath­ing space will not increase as much as expected.

For more infor­ma­tion on the beauty of Cor­bett Tiger Reserve and in-​depth dis­cus­sion on tiger con­ser­va­tion in this area read the excel­lent story by Susan Lump­kin on GTI’s web­site here.

(Source: Hin­dus­tan Times, 11.04.2011; web­site National Tiger Con­ser­va­tion Author­ity; web­site Jim Cor­bett National Park)

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Tiger range countries map

Tiger map” (CC BY 2.5) by Sander­son et al., 2006.

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