Bihar’s second tiger reserve to come up in Kaimur sanctuary
By the end of the year or in the first half of 2024, Bihar will have its second tiger reserve in the Kaimur district. The Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) is in the State’s West Champaran area.
What is the Project Tiger?
- The Government of India initiated Project Tiger in 1973 to safeguard the Bengal tiger population, which was in decline owing to killing and habitat destruction.
- The initiative began in nine tiger reserves spread across the country, totalling 16,339 square kilometres. Since then, the initiative has grown to include 53 tiger reserves spread over 18 states, totalling 75,796 square kilometres.
- Project Tiger’s main goals are to safeguard and conserve the Bengal tiger population, maintain their habitat, and reduce human-tiger conflicts.
- The initiative includes habitat management, protection of the tiger’s prey base, anti-poaching measures, and community participation in conservation activities.
- Project Tiger commemorated its 50th anniversary in 2022, with activities organized across the country to promote awareness about tiger conservation and recognize the project’s accomplishments.
What do we know about Valmiki Tiger Reserve?
- The Valmiki Tiger Reserve is situated in Bihar, India’s West Champaran district.
- It occupies 17.4% of the entire geographic area of the district and is the only tiger reserve in Bihar.
- The reserve, which has an area of 899.38 square kilometres, was established in 1989. In the reserve as of 2022, there were 54 tigers.
- The Gangetic Plains bio-geographic zone is where the reserve is situated. It consists of a mixture of terai and bhabar tracts.
- The reserve is situated near the international border with Nepal in the far northeastern part of the country. The Gandak River forms the reserve’s western boundary.
- The reserve is home to numerous unique and endangered animals as well as approximately 200 different bird species. Tigers, sloth bears, leopards, Wild Boars and other wild creatures can be found in the woodlands.
Why is Bihar planning to start another tiger reserve?
- The success of Current Reserves: The accomplishments of current tiger reserves, such as the Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) in Bihar, show the effectiveness of such conservation initiatives. The rise in the number of tigers in VTR from 31 in 2018 to 54 in 2019 is a positive indicator of successful conservation efforts.
- Kaimur’s Unique Landscape: The hills of the Kaimur plateau and the plains to the west, which are flanked by the Karmanasa and Durgavati rivers, make up the unique landscape of the Kaimur district in Bihar. Tigers, leopards, and chinkaras are among the many wildlife species that call the area’s dense forest home.
- Forestry: The 1,134 square kilometres of forested land in the Kaimur district, which also includes the 986 square kilometres Kaimur Wildlife Sanctuary, is sizable. This district has the largest percentage of green space—34%—of any in Bihar. Its borders are shared with Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Jharkhand.
- Tiger Sightings: Up until 1995, tigers were frequently spotted in the Kaimur highlands. Nevertheless, they vanished for a while before being formally declared to have returned in 2017, when the District Forest reported to the state about their presence.
How is Tiger Reserves able to protect the animals?
- Protected Habitats: Tiger reserves offer protected areas and habitats so that tigers can live and reproduce without being significantly disturbed by human activity. These reserves are carefully chosen and managed to make sure they provide tigers with settings that are conducive to their survival and procreation.
- Reduced Human-Wildlife Conflict: Tiger reserves aid in reducing human-wildlife conflicts by allocating separate places for tigers. Local communities are frequently moved or compensated for possible harm brought on by tigers, which promotes a more optimistic outlook on tiger conservation.
- Prey basis Management: Tiger reserves place a high priority on preserving a robust prey basis. For tiger populations to survive, there must be enough of their prey species, such as deer. Reserves make sure that there are enough food sources for tigers to survive by controlling the populations of herbivores.
- Anti-Poaching Measures: One of the biggest dangers to tiger populations is poaching, which is why tiger reserves have specialized anti-poaching teams and enforcement staff. These teams strive to stop the trade in tiger parts and illicit tiger hunts.
- study and Monitoring: Tiger reserves are crucial locations for continuous study and monitoring. Within the reserves, researchers and conservationists frequently monitor tiger populations, behaviour, and health, collecting crucial information for conservation planning and decision-making.
- Tigers Outside Protected Areas: Nearly a quarter of the tigers were reported to be outside of authorized tiger reserves, highlighting the significance of additional conservation measures.
- Tiger Reserves Are Important: India’s tigers are mostly concentrated in 53 designated tiger reserves, which are spread out over 75,796 square km and account for 2.3% of the nation’s total land area.
- Reserves with the Most Tigers: Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, Bandipur (150), and Nagarhole (141), all in Karnataka, reported the highest number of tigers (260).
The creation of a second tiger reserve in Bihar is a step in the right direction for the preservation of tigers and the region’s biodiversity. It is an example of the state’s attempts to save and conserve the natural habitats of these magnificent creatures and other wildlife species.