Hyderabad: The Telangana forest department has decided to relocate 34 villages in Kawal and Amrabad tiger reserves to create inviolate spaces within the reserves as part of wildlife habitat improvement for tigers.
The forest department is keen that the 28 villages in the core area of Kawal tiger reserve be relocated as tigers are not remaining in the reserve.
“We have tigers only as guests; they are not turning into residents in Kawal. We are taking up several measures to make them stay back. Every year tigers come to Kawal and then leave. This time we have noticed tigers' movement in the reserve and are hoping they will stay back,” said Nirmal District Forest Officer K Damodar Reddy.
There are about 20 to 25 tigers in the Telangana region. There are an estimated 14 to 16 in Amrabad Tiger Reserve and six to eight in Kagaznagar forest area, the corridor between Kawal Tiger Reserve and the Tadoba reserve in Maharashtra. The department wants to attract the tigers coming from Maharashtra and the relocation of the villages is a part of their plan to do so.
“We are almost done with the process and waiting for a few more clearances. Our aim is to create an inviolate space within the tiger reserve to improve the wildlife habitat for the tigers. Two villages will be shifted in a few months time. Officials from the National Tiger Conservation Authority will soon inspect the villages.
“The relocation of the villages is being done for the first time in the state. It was never done in united Andhra Pradesh,” said Principal Chief Conser-vator of Forests P K Jha.
The two villages of Rampur and Maisampet in Nirmal district with 142 families, will be relocated to the Khanpur Reserve Forest. Officials are waiting to release the forest land for creating the new villages. Eight villages in Amrabad Tiger Reserve have been identified for relocating in two phase.