Ooty: A merger of the Segur and Singara reserve forests, together constituting 320 sq. km area of forest with the adjacent Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) is said to be on the cards. The greens have welcomed this initiative as it will pave the way for expansion of the MTR limits and help strengthen tiger conservation efforts.
Both Segur and Singara jungles, which border the MTR in different directions, are now under the jurisdictional control of the Nilgiris north forest division. With the merger, the 367.55 sq. km. forest area that make the Segur and Singara reserve forests, which now serve as a tiger reserve buffer zone, will help the MTR to expand its area from the present 321 sq. km. to 688.55 sq. km.
Official sources in the Forest department here said that the final order on the merger is expected to be finalised by the State government soon. “The spillover tiger population of the MTR generally occupies the adjacent Segur and Singara jungles. Segur jungles extend up to Thengumarahada in the foothills of the Nilgiris, bordering the Sathiyamangalam tiger reserve (STR). The merger of Segur and Singara jungles will double the MTR area and help in connectivity with the STR to give tigers more space,” sources said.
“After the merger, the MTR boundary will start right from the Kallhatti check-post near Ooty. Post-merger, Nilgiris north and south forest divisions will be made one, and the MTR will get two deputy directors for administration,” sources revealed and added that the merger has been a long-pending issue over the past seven years.
S.Jayachandran, joint secretary of the Tamil Nadu Green Movement, welcomed the proposed initiative and said that it would augur well to get more funds for MTR and give employment opportunities to tribals now living in the Segur and Singara limits. It would make the area an ideal habitat for tigers as well as elephants, he noted....