The Rajasthan state forest department has often faced the mammoth task of tracking and returning a stray tiger from its place of residence. News of tigers straying from Ranthambore National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park, away from the park’s surrounding regions have often put the officials in a spot over the safety of the animal.
In order to prevent the tigers from straying out of the territories and for their safety, the state government has planned to build a corridor connecting six National Parks and wildlife sanctuaries of the state under the Tiger Biosphere Project. The corridor will be developed connecting Keoladeo, Ranthambore, Sawai Mansingh, Ramgarh, Jawahar Sagar and Dara sanctuaries falling under Bharatpur, Sawai Madhopur, Kota and Bundi districts of the state.
Apart from Ranthambore National Park, Sariska National Park and Keoladeo Ghana National Park have also witnessed instances of straying tigers. "Due to the growing numbers of the big cats in the Ranthambore National Park, the tigers usually stray out of their territory and go missing. They become easy prey to villagers and poachers in such cases," a forest official said.
Most of the parks and sanctuaries in the state are connected to each other and those to be developed as a tiger corridor under the Tiger Biosphere Project are dense forest areas. Once the corridors are built, the park officials will have to take up serious security issues for the wildlife in these regions against poaching and other criminal activities. To ensure this it will be necessary to relocate the villages in the vicinity of the parks and sanctuaries.
The project will be developed with the help of Rs.1,153 crore worth grant from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for implementing the Rajasthan Forestry and Biodiversity Project (RFBP) in select areas of the state over a period of eight years between 2011 and 2019.
Ranthambore National Park one of the oldest parks in India has a healthy tiger population in its area and surrounding sanctuaries. In the last two to three years some of the tigers from Ranthambore have been shifted to Sariska National Park in order to revive the tiger population here when the park had become tigerless a few years ago due to wide scale poaching.