Srivilliputhur-Megamalai Tiger Reserve becomes fifth tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu : Daily Current Affairs

Srivilliputhur-Megamalai Tiger Reserve becomes fifth tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu state government recently gave a major boost to tiger conservation with the declaration of Srivilliputhur Megamalai Tiger Reserve as it's fifth Tiger Reserve. It is the 51st tiger reserve of india. According to Tamil Nadu Forest Department the Protected Areas in the State includes 5 National parks, 15 Wildlife sanctuaries, 15 bird sanctuaries and 2 conservation reserves besides 4 Tiger Reserves viz.

  • Anamalai tiger reserve
  • Kalakkad - Mundanthurai tiger reserve
  • Mudumalai tiger reserve
  • Sathyamangalam tiger reserve

These Protected Areas have been established under Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) gave in-principle approval under Section 38 V(1) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 .

The Srivilliputhur Megamalai Tiger Reserve will span the forests of Megamalai wildlife sanctuary and Srivilliputhur grizzled squirrel wildlife sanctuary. Srivilluputhur hosts leopards, Nilgiri tahrs, lion tailed macaques, jungle cats and sambars.

About Lion tailed macaque :

It's Population is expected to suffer an estimated decline of over 20% in the next 25 years’ According to iucn. Lion-tailed macaque (Macaca silenus), a primate endemic to small and severely fragmented rainforests of the Western Ghats in Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, continues to be in the ‘endangered’ category in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Habitat loss puts lion-tailed macaque in IUCN endangered list for the sixth time.

As per the technical report, the total wild population of the lion-tailed macaque (LTM) could be about 4,000 individuals consisting of less than 2,500 mature individuals, made up of 47 isolated sub-populations in seven different locations in the three States of tamilnadu , Kerala and Karnataka.

About Nilgiri Tahrs :

The Nilgiri tahr is the only mountain ungulate in southern India amongst the 12 species present in India. It is also the state animal of Tamil Nadu.

The Nilgiri tahr, which used to be found along the entire stretch of Western Ghats, is presently found only in small fragmented pockets. A large part of its population has been wiped out from its historical range. The existing populations are under severe stress due to habitat loss and hunting.

This endemic species of the Western Ghats is listed as Endangered in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and is protected under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972.

About NTCA :

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has been constituted under section 38 L (1) of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. Further, as per the section 38 L, sub section 2 of the said Act, the authority consists of the Minister in charge of the Ministry of Environment and Forests ( as Chairperson), the Minister of State in the Ministry of Environment and Forests (as Vice-Chairperson), three members of Parliament, Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests and other members.

The authority derives its power from section 38 O (1) of WLPA, 1972 and functions under the guidance of Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson and members.

What is the tiger conservation plan?

The Tiger Conservation Plan is a document mandated under Section 38 V of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 for each tiger reserve, which prescribes management interventions for the said tiger reserve.

A Tiger Conservation Plan consists of three parts namely :

  1. Core Plan
  2. Buffer Plan
  3. Adjoining Area/Corridor Plan

How are tiger reserves notified?

Tiger Reserves are notified by State Governments as per provisions of Section 38V of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 on advise of the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

The following steps are involved in the notification:

  1. Proposal is obtained from the State.
  2. In-principle approval is communicated from the National Tiger Conservation Authority, soliciting detailed proposals under section 38V of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
  3. National Tiger Conservation Authority recommends the proposal to the State after due diligence.
  4. The State Government notifies the area as a Tiger Reserve.

Total area of notified tiger reserves in the country?

An area of 72749 of the country is notified through 50 tiger reserves in 18 tiger range States which constitutes 2.21% of the country’s geographical area. Out of this 40145.30 is notified as core/critical tiger habitat while 32603.72 is notified as buffer.

Can tiger reserves be altered and de-notified?

These processes are governed by Section 38W of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 whose provisions are as follows:

  1. 38 W (1): “No alteration in the boundaries of a tiger reserve shall be made except on a recommendation of the Tiger Conservation Authority and the approval of the National Board for Wild Life”.
  2. 38 W (2): “No State Government shall de-notify a tiger reserve, except in public interest with the approval of the Tiger Conservation Authority and the National Board for Wild Life”.