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Will Chhattisgarh declare Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary a tiger reserve?

  • Category
    Environment
  • Published
    1st Mar, 2021

Context

Chhattisgarh, which has three tiger reserves, wants to add another one but the wildlife experts and government have locked horns over its location.

About

What is Tiger Reserve?

  • It is notified by the state government on the recommendation of NTCA under Section 38V Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.
  • Zonation: A Tiger Reserve consists of a ‘Core’ or ‘Critical Tiger Habitat’, which is to be managed as an inviolate area, and a ‘Buffer’ or Peripheral area immediately abutting a Core area, which may be accorded a lesser degree of habitat protection.

Status of Tiger in Chhattisgarh and its Tiger Reserve

  • Chhattisgarh’s tiger population is in a delicate state.
  • The tiger population in Chhattisgarh is not in a very healthy condition as the present number is 19 (in 2018) compared to 46 tigers in 2014.
    • It has three tiger reserves –
    • Indravati National Park and Tiger Reserve
    • Achanakmar
    • Udanti Sitanadi
  • Guru Ghasidas National Park is also a vital corridor stretching from Bandhavgarh National Park in Madhya Pradesh to the Palamau Tiger Reserve in Jharkhand.

Why Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary?

  • Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary is an important tiger habitat and thus various PILs have been filed in the Chhattisgarh High Court in 2019 demanding it to be declared the tiger reserve.
  • The Sanctuary shares a border with Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh making it an important tiger habitat in central India.
  • National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has recommended notifying the Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve in 2017.

About National Tiger Conservation Authority

  • NTCA was constituted under section 38 L (1) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
    • Power and Functions
    • to approve the tiger conservation plan prepared by the State Government
    • to approve, co-ordinate research and monitoring on tiger, co-predators, prey habitat, related ecological and socio-economic parameters, and their evaluation
    • to lay down normative standards for tourism activities and guidelines for Project Tiger from time to time for tiger conservation in the buffer and core area of tiger reserves and ensure their due compliance

Why Chhattisgarh did not accept the recommendation of NTCA in 2017?

  • There was a large-scale protest from locals especially, Baigas over apprehensions of displacement and restriction on their activities due to different autonomy in the core, buffer, and transition area of the tiger reserve.

Baigas

  • The Baiga, meaning sorcerers, is one of the particularly vulnerable tribal groups (PVTG).
  • They are spread across Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bihar, Odisha, West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh.
  • Traditionally, the Baiga lived a semi-nomadic life and practiced slash-and-burn cultivation. Now, they are mainly dependent on minor forest produce for their livelihood. 
  • After a death in the family, the Baiga just leaves the house and builds another.
  • Tattooing is an integral part of Baiga culture—every age and body part has a specific tattoo reserved for the occasion.

Location of Protected Areas in Chhattisgarh

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