Hyderabad: As part of the efforts to make Telangana’s protected areas conducive for the big cats, the state forest department has adopted a multi-pronged approach that includes creating adequate prey base and enough water sources where animals, both predators and prey animals, can drink from.
“One of the areas we have focused on is creating grasslands in degraded forest areas, which is paying off now, particularly in the Kawal tiger reserve which is slowly but surely emerging as a critical tiger habitat,” Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Head of Forest Force), R. Shobha, told Deccan Chronicle.
“Simultaneously, creating water bodies by building check dams, and restoring small natural water tanks, along with creating saucer pits in areas without natural water sources, has begun yielding results, creating lush green areas where deer and other animals can be seen regularly. We now have one water source every two square kilometres in both Kawal and Amrabad tiger reserves,” she said.
The department, she said, was extremely mindful of the need to create proper spaces for tigers inside the forests, where availability of prey plays a key role in encouraging the big cats to establish their territories. As part of the efforts to increase the number of deer in the forests, excess deer from deer parks and the zoo in the city have been translocated into critical habitats for tigers in the Kawal tiger reserve, and also in some of the forest corridor areas.
Despite the challenges, Telangana now has more tigers and leopards than in the past decade, following the department's efforts to create the right conditions for the big cats in the state’s forests, the official said....