Jairam writes to Gujarat, plans to translocate tigers
Neha Sinha Posted online: Thursday , Aug 20, 2009 at 0135 hrs
New Delhi : After being the only state with lions, Gujarat may also get tigers. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of Environment and Forests, has written to Gujarat proposing that tigers be translocated to the state. The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has been asked to conduct a technical study on this.
While many see this as a strategy to get lions from Gujarat for translocation to another site outside the state, Ramesh maintains that this will complete the tiger landscape across central and upper India.
“There were tigers in Gujarat till 10 years ago. I was looking at the map of India and realised that all the states in northern India like UP, Rajasthan, MP have tiger reserves, except for Gujarat. Having a project tiger reserve here will be good for the state,” he said while addressing a National Conference of state Forest Ministers.
He added: “We know that lions are Gujarat’s pride. But we want them to be India’s pride.”
As per information, if tigers are translocated to Gujarat, they are likely to be brought from Madhya Pradesh.
The idea is that lions be given to the same state, Madhya Pradesh, by Gujarat in return.
However, Gujarat Forest Minister Mangubhai Patel said: “Gujarat is the right home for lions.”
The sites being looked into for tiger re-introduction are Surpaneshwar near Narmada Dam and Dangs. “Both sites are extensions of the Western Ghats. The tigers can certainly be brought in here,” said a WII scientist.