Monday, May 04, 2009

Heat wave delays tiger relocation in Sariska

Heat wave delays tiger relocation in Sariska

New Delhi (PTI) Unrelenting heat wave in Northern India has put a halt on Rajasthan government's plan to relocate a tiger from Rathambore National park to Sariska sanctuary with state officials preferring to wait till monsoon to execute the task.

"There was a proposal to shift second male tiger in the beginning of this month in the park. But it is now not advisable in view of intense heat conditions in the Northern state. The plan has been put on hold for at least next two months till monsoon," National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) member secretary Rajesh Gopal told PTI.

Pointing to the reason behind the move, he said: "Tigers can suffer sunstroke or die if we try to trap them for translocation purpose. We also don't want to disturb its habitat as it can be fatal given the animal has to be darted and tranquilised before it is airlifted. It will also be taxing for our men to do the work successfully in this heat wave condition," he said.

"Last time, we had executed the task during monsoon when the weather was favourable for the animal. We will again wait for rains as the onset of summer this year has witnessed temperatures soaring beyond 43 degrees Celsius," Mr. Gopal added.

At present there are three big cats -- a male and two females -- in the wilds of Sariska as part of the government efforts to revive the population of the endangered species.

A total of five predators, three males and two females, have to be introduced by the end of this year as suggested by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).

Sarsika lost all striped animals by 2004 to poachers and excess human interference in the sanctuary.

Last year, a tiger and two tigress, fitted with radio collar to monitor their movement, were successfully relocated from Ranthambore to Sariska, spread over 800 sq km with a core area of around 500 sq km.

http://www.hindu.com/thehindu/holnus/000200905031155.htm

http://www.bigcatrescue.org

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