THE impressive growth in the number of tigers in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra has been punctuated by growing incidence of man-tiger conflicts over the past decade and more. On Wednesday, two orders issued by Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) Nitin Kakodkar, to capture three different tigers, underscored the urgency of the situation like never before.
Kakodkar issued one order to capture a male and a female tiger — found venturing regularly into areas adjoining Irai river flowing adjacent to the city — and the other for the capture of a tigress in Bramhpuri divisional forest, which was involved in the deaths of two people last year.
The PCCF may also issue another order soon to capture a tiger believed to be involved in three deaths and one injury in the Rajura forest of the district.
The male and female tigers that are to be captured were brought up in the prosopis forest that has come up inside the Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station (CSTPS) area. They will be the first big cats to be captured in anticipation of possible trouble.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) allows the capture or shooting of tigers only when they cause death or injury to humans, and in rare cases, for those straying inside human settlements. “I had to issue this order since the two tigers were regularly venturing in the Irai river area… dangerously close to the settlements there,” said Kakodkar.
“In the Rajura tiger case, I have sought more convincing material about involvement of the tiger. It’s a matter of time before I issue the order to capture it,” he said.
Chandrapur has a forest area of 5,206 sq km, roughly 45 per cent of the district’s geographical area of 11,441 sq km.
Kakodkar said the main reason for increasing levels of man-tiger conflict in Chandrapur is its vast human-dominated and fragmented forest landscapes.
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