The Maharashtra government has created three new wildlife sanctuaries in the state, taking the total number of sanctuaries to 47. The three new sanctuaries are Pranhita in Alapalli division of Gadchiroli, known for the presence of the remaining population of near-extinct wild buffalo, Isapur in Yavatmal district known for water birds and Sudhagad in the Western Ghats between Raigad and Pune known for its bio-diversity.
With these three new sanctuaries covering 420, 37.80 and 101.49 sq km areas, respectively, the total coverage of protected areas in the state has gone up to 10,052 sq km.
The state had given assurance to the Supreme Court that it would create new protected areas in lieu of the de-notification of a large part of the Great Indian Bustard sanctuary in Nanaj, Western Maharashtra, a press note issued by the forest department said. The state has six national parks, 49 sanctuaries and four conservation reserves, of which all parks and 14 sanctuaries are now part of Project Tiger.