Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary in Bundi district has received all clearances to become the Rajasthan’s fourth tiger reserve. In July 2021, the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change (MoEFCC) approved the proposal to convert the Ramgarh Vishdhari sanctuary into Ramgarh Vishdhari Tiger Reserve (RVTR).
In 1982, a part of the forest in Bundi was declared as Ramgarh Vishdhari Wildlife Sanctuary under Section 5 of the Rajasthan Wild Animals and Birds Protection Act, 1951. The sanctuary has an area of 252.79 square kilometers and acts as the buffer area of Ranthambore National Park.
In October 2019 the Rajasthan State Government had declared its plan to upgrade the Ramgarh Vishdhari WLS and had sent proposal for approval to National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). After deliberation, recently the sanctuary received a nod from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)’s technical committee.
Now after approval from MoEFCC also, the State government can issue a notification in this regard.
After being declared as tiger reserve, RVTR will have a statuary status as a land where tigers have to be protected under the Centrally-sponsored Project Tiger, which will enable it to get funds for tiger conservation and other Central assistance.
Ramgarh Vishdhari Tiger Reserve
- The Wildlife Sanctuary is spread across 1,071 square kilometre, of which over 300 square kms area in the proposed reserve will be left as a critical habitat for the animals, while the rest will be a buffer zone.
- The sanctuary currently has lepoards, sambhars, chitals, wild boars, smaller cats, caracals, chinkaras and nilgai.
- To strengthen the prey base, the state has already approved shifting of chital (spotted deer) from Ghana Bird Sanctuary (Karauli) to Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve, Keoladeo National Park, and Ramgarh Vishdhari.
Why Rajasthan has created Ramgarh Vishdhari Tiger Reserve
The Ramgarh Vishdhari Tiger Reserve will help reduce tiger-human conflict. The new tiger reserve will link Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in the Northeast & Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve on the southern side.
According to a 2018 tiger census, there are 102 tigers in three reserves — Ranthambore Tiger Reserve in Sawai Madhopur, Sariska Tiger Reserve in Alwar, and Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve in Kota — in the state. According to experts, there is overcrowding at the Ranthambore reserve, which houses 77 tigers.
The rising number of tiger-human conflict in and around Ranthambore is also attributed to contracting spaces for tigers. Often, young or weak tigers leave Ranthambore and attack human beings and cattle in a bid to reclaim their lost habitat, which the NTCA and state government have now tried to facilitate by creating the RVTR.
In the past decade, tigers killed at least 14 persons, as compared to two in the 30 years preceding it. More space given to tigers of Ranthambore is likely to bring down such killings which not only creates resentment among locals against tigers, but also leads to revenge killing of tigers. (source)
Location map of Ramgarh Vishdhari WLS
The Wildlife Sanctuary is located 45 kilometres from Bundi on the Bundi-Nainwa road.