A Mumbai-based organisation has worked to plant over 870,000 trees in Maharashtra to expand and protect tiger habitat, a member said.
Some 235,000 trees had been planted in the buffer zone of the Pench Tiger Reserve in Ramtek, Maharashtra, Supriya Patil, head, partnerships & projects, Grow-Trees.com, said.
Over 640,000 have been planted alongside the Kanha-Pench corridor, she added.
The organisation has also made sure to plant trees that were local to the region.
“We have planted only local species like drumsticks, custard apple, neem, amla, shisham, jamun, etc. Saplings are selected by us in keeping with ecological conditions and the success ratio of local species,” Patil said.
She added that planting trees in the area was critical as tigers were a conservation-dependent species. They won’t be able to thrive in a scenario where they can’t easily access prey or move around safely.
A safe forest corridor was critical for the facilitation of tiger dispersal between Kanha and Pench Tiger Reserves and without such a linkage, isolated tiger populations faced the risk of extinction, Patil said.
Tree plantation drives could help counter the damage inflicted on wildlife by developmental activities, habitat fragmentation, human-animal conflicts and resource exploitation.
It could help restore tiger corridors, while also involving local communities in tiger conservation efforts, Patil said.