Goa State Board for Wildlife today cleared a proposal declaring all protected areas notified as wildlife sanctuaries in the state as tiger reserve.
"The Board cleared the proposal to declare as tiger reserve all the protected areas in Goa which are notified as wildlife sanctuaries. The proposal would be submitted to NTCA," Forest Minister Rajendra Arlekar told PTI after the Board's meeting at Secretariat here.
Arlekar said all areas that are protected as wildlife sanctuaries - from Cotigao to Mhadei -- would be declared as Tiger Reserve, and no additional area would be included in it.
The Board's decision comes against the backdrop of the demand raised by various environmentalists to declare such areas, especially Mhadei wildlife sanctuary, as tiger reserve considering the presence of wild cats.
Environment activists had alleged that the government was averse to declaring wildlife sanctuaries as tiger reserve to protect interest of the iron-ore mining industry, which is operating around the forests.
Arlekar said that Forest department had spotted five tigers moving in the protected areas, especially in the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary, during last tiger Census conducted using the camera trapping technique.
"Since it is proved that tigers exist in the state's wildlife sanctuaries, the Board has decided to submit the proposal," the minister said.
He said NTCA will process the Board's proposal and conduct its own study before formally declaring the areas as tiger reserve.
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