The death of male tiger ST-16 at Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR) last week has raised questions over the move to relocate tigers. Not only are wildlife conservationists concerned about the issue but the state forest and wildlife have written to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) requesting the agency to review the relocation programme.
ST-16 was the fourth male tiger, brought to the reserve to repopulate it, to die in STR in less than two years. Arindam Tomar, chief wildlife warden, Rajasthan, told TOI, “I have written to NTCA to review the tiger relocation programme and to identify the problem areas as find viable solutions since the plan has not been as successful as in Panna National Park in Madhya Pradesh. In 10 years, we were supposed to relocate 20 tigers, but only nine have been relocated till now.”
The Panna National Park was the second reserve in the country after STR which had lost all tigers to poaching. Now, it has almost three times the number of tigers in comparison to Sariska, which has 16 of the big cats.