A survey to carry out a feasibility assessment of Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary as a potential tiger reserve will begin in September 2021. Earlier, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had fixed August 26 to start the assessment, but after a committee member was replaced, the date has been postponed.
In 2019, Rajasthan Forest Department had initiated proposal for upgrading Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary to Kumbhalgarh Tiger Reserve.
As per recent news(1), one of the original committee member – Dr Kaushik Banerjee, research scientist, Tiger Cell, WII, will not be able to come for the assessment. He will be replaced by senior biologist Ayan Sadhu. Now, the committee will visit for an assessment in September 2021. Dates have not been decided yet.
Kumbhalgarh Tiger Reserve Survey 2021 Committee
The four member committee comprises two retired IFS officers, RN Mehrotra and NK Vasu, Sadhu and Hemant Kamdi, AIG, NTCA, who has been appointed as member convenor.
The committee will undertake assessment of current status of human habitation, habitat, boundary delineation, landscape connectivity, encroachment, prey base vis-a-vis the site’s potential for a tiger reserve. As per office memorandum, it will submit a report in 30 days.
Fateh Singh Rathore, DCF (wildlife) Rajsamand said, “With good prey base and less human interference, Kumbhalgarh is an ideal tiger habitat. Hopefully, we will be able to witness these majestic cats here in coming years.”
Rituraj Singh (advocate and conservationist) said, “Once upon a time, tigers used to be the apex predators of Aravalis. With nod from the expert team, big cats will soon reclaim their old turf as situation is favourable.”
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary
Kumbhalgarh Wildlife sanctuary is spread over 1,280 square kms, which is bigger than Sariska Tiger Reserve.
The proposed reserve lies in the districts of Pali, Rajsamand, Udaipur and Ajmer and is located in the oldest range of Aravallis spreading over the tract starting from Khulbrahora (Gujarat) and culminating on Delhi ridge. If declared, Kumbhalgarh sanctuary will be the fifth tiger reserve in the state of Rajasthan.
In July 2021, MoEFCC has approved Ramgarh Vishdhari Tiger Reserve (RVTR) as the fourth Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan after – Sariska, Ranthambore & Mukundhara Tiger Reserve.