Hyderabad: The Kawal tiger reserve remains “tigerless”, according to experts. While the sighting of a new litter of the tigress Phalguna has spread cheer, the state of the Kawal reserve is still a matter of grave concern.
Mr Mohan Guruswamy, a policy analyst says, “Phalguna, with her second litter is almost seventy kilometres away in the Kadamba range in Asifabad-Sirpur forests. There is no way that the tiger can travel such a distance (to Kawal) with her newborn litter.”
He said, “There have been so many cases of poisoning and poaching in Kawal tiger reserve and they have no big cats. The forests around Kawal need to be properly protected to receive migrants from Tadoba and Tipeshwar.”
He stated that Telangana state continued to be unfriendly to tigers, and attention needed to be given to both the reserves.
Kawal tiger reserve director said although they haven’t received information on any cases of poaching, forest officials had seen several snare traps laid despite the extra security measures.
“There needs to be more patrolling, more photographic evidence of such snares and others so that proper steps can be taken.”
According to forest officials, Phalguna’s first litter was noticed in January 2016 and photographed for the first time in March that year.
The second litter was noticed in April 2018 and photographed. New pugmarks were also noted and the cubs were said to be of seven months of age.
The photographs were captured on camera traps and forest officials stated that planned surveillance, habitat improvement, building of prey and live electric wires were leading to good results for tigers.
The need for live electric fences set up by farmers to ward off wild life entering their fields has been questioned as many a time tigers get caught in them.
Mr Uday Kumar, a wildlife lover, said, “The state is focused on green drives which is extremely important but we need to care for our wildlife as well. Unless the state government takes special care of the same, the forest department’s efforts will not go a long way. There needs to be more awareness and better tracking equipment rather than just pug marks.”