Headlines December 28, 2019
Tiger sets record with 1,500-km night walk
A three-year-old male sub-adult tiger has travelled 1,500 km across six districts and four wildlife sanctuaries in Maharashtra and Telangana over 150 days. The walk was in search of new territory and ended on 2 December.
Wildlife authorities say this is the longest ever recorded movement of a tiger in India monitored using a radio-collar. The Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun and the Maharashtra forest department tracked the tiger’s movement from Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Yavatmal district from June as the animal made his way into the Dnyanganga Sanctuary in Buldhana.
The exact reason for this fast paced movement by the animal is still unclear. We are constantly monitoring this and once the animal sets up his territory, we will have more answers. – Nitin Kakodkar, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Maharashtra Forest Department.
Experts said there could be five reasons as to why the tiger has moved this fast over 180 days. It could be in search of territory, if a dominant male is chasing them, looking for a mate, in search of water, and to find a new prey base.
“The most probable reason is to find a new territory for this tiger across these pockets of forests in the central Indian landscape as he is moving very fast. The animal is travelling only during the night,” said Jerryl Banait, a wildlife conservationist who has been closely monitoring tigers in this region. “Male tigers need 60-80 sq. km to form their territory.”
Two tigers were radio-collared by researchers in this year. “It’s worth noting that the tiger, while crossing hundreds of villages, agricultural fields and habitations, did not enter into any conflict with humans except isolated instances of cattle kills that he made for survival and unavoidable incidence of human attack when the villagers approached close to the tiger in Hingoli,” said Ravikiran Govekar, Field Director, Pench Tiger Reserve.