Forest Department orders to shut tiger reserves during Monsoons

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Tourism zones falling in the national park areas of Ranthambhore and Sariska tiger reserves in Rajasthan will remain closed during monsoon in 2017.

Key Facts

  • Following a meeting of the State Wildlife Board’s standing committee and Ranthambhore Tiger Conservation Foundation on June 9th, the Forest Department had issued orders to keep the tiger reserves open for tourism during July to September
  • The Forest Department has revised its orders after The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) took up the matter with the State government.
  • The orders of closure of tiger reserves will be applicable to the national park areas. The fringe areas will remain open for tourism activities.
  • The revised orders provide for complete closure of tourism zones 1 to 5 at Ranthambhore and two tourism zones at Sariska.
    Contradicting views
  • The NTCA has led emphasis that monsoon is the breeding season for wild animals especially tigers. Therefore, closure of the tiger reserves during monsoon is justified.
  • However, the State Wildlife Board had observed that the breeding of tigers extended throughout the year in Rajasthan, which is a low rainfall area.
  • It has been pointed out that the zones 6 to 10 at Ranthambhore had been opened for tourism during monsoon in the past few years and no adverse effect on tigers and their conservation had been observed.
  • The NTCA, while identifying factors for closure during monsoon in its 2015 directive, had stated that the period for closure would be decided by the respective State governments.

National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)

  • The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) was established in December 2005 following a recommendation of the Tiger Task Force.
  • The Environment Minister is the Chairman of NTCA
  • The NTCA performs an overarching supervisory and coordinating role
    It performs the functions as provided by the Wildlife (Protection)Act, 1972
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