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Declare Goa sanctuaries as 'tiger reserve': Activists


Press Trust of India  |  Panaji 

Activists and politicians from Goa have demanded that certain areas in wildlife sanctuaries of the state be notified as 'tiger reserve'.

The Goa government should follow up its proposal sent to the Centre in 2017 to notify certain areas of the coastal state as a tiger reserve, they say.

The demand has come following the death of four tigers in Mahadayi Wildlife Sanctuary of Sattari Taluka in North Goa district in the last few days.

As part of the state's proposal, about 500 sq km area of Mahadayi, Netravali and Cotigao wildlife sanctuaries and some part of Mahaveer National Park was selected to be marked as 'tiger reserve', considering the presence of the striped animals in those places.

Former forest minister of Goa Rajendra Arlekar said in 2017, the State Wildlife Board approved the proposal and it was sent to the Central Wildlife Board.

"The state government should follow up the proposal so that there is proper protection and conservation of tigers in these areas," the BJP leader said.

Carcasses of a tigress and her three cubs were found in the Mahadayi Wildlife Sanctuary earlier this week.

Threelocals were arrested for suspected poisoning of the four wild cats, which were captured roaming in the area on cameras set up by the forest department on December 23, 2019.

The forest department prima facie suspects that the felines were poisoned in a "revenge killing" for preying on cattle in Golavali village.

Union Ministry of Forest, and Climate Change has constituted a high-level committee to inquire into deaths of the tigers.

Environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar, who was the first to moot the proposal for tiger reserve, said the state government should form a 'task force' for the protection and conservation of wild cats.

"The proposal of tiger reserves should also be followed up by the state government with the central authorities. The areas where there is human habitation or they have plantations can be excluded from the tiger reserve," he suggested.

Such a step is required to save the tigers inhabiting forests of the coastal state, he added.

As per National Tiger Conservation Authority's census, five wild cats were spotted in Goa in 2010.

But, Kerkar claimed the number would be more than five.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Thu, January 09 2020. 15:10 IST