By Our Chief Reporter
Panaji (Goa) In a major step towards the Conservation of the Wild Cat, Goa Forest department has decided to identify core areas in four of its wildlife sanctuaries which would be notified as the ‘Tiger Reserve,’ subject to the approval of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
State Forest department has decided to conduct detail mapping of the movement of Tigers in the wildlife sanctuaries of Mahadayi, Mollem, Cotigao and Netravali, which are in the Western Ghat region.
“The department in the year 2016 and 2017 had laid camera traps in certain parts of the wildlife sanctuaries which has confirmed the presence of Tigers in those areas. There were direct sightings through the camera traps,” said Ajai Saxena, State Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF).
The findings through the Camera Trap method was encouraging as the Forest department’s Tiger Census held in the year 2013 had not found any direct evidence of the wild cat in the state’s wildlife areas.
Saxena said that the areas bordering Goa-Maharashtra has been a witness for tiger sightings several times specially in the hill range of Chorla Ghat.
“The tiger density in the tropical forest is low. But still we are sure that there is a possibility of presence of Tigers in the wildlife sanctuaries of Mollem, Netravali, Mahadayi and Cotigao,” he said.
Saxena said that the department would soon work out a detailed map which will identify the core areas in the Western Ghat that could be declared as the Tiger Reserve.
He said that the proposal for mapping the areas for Tiger presence would be placed before State Wildlife Board which is headed by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar.
“Once we get approval from the Board, the proposal would be put forth to National Tiger Conservation Authority for their final approval and the funding,” he added.
In the year 2011, the Union Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change had asked Goa to consider notifying Mahadayi Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve,
Then State government had failed to act on the proposal due to which the union ministry had sent another reminder in the year 2014.