Sariska Tiger Reserve

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Sariska Tiger Reserve
IUCN category IV (habitat/species management area)
Tigers in the Sariska Tiger Reserve.jpg
Tiger in the Sariska Tiger Reserve
Map showing the location of Sariska Tiger Reserve
Map showing the location of Sariska Tiger Reserve
LocationAlwar District, Rajasthan, India
Nearest cityAlwar
Coordinates27°19′3″N 76°26′13″E / 27.31750°N 76.43694°E / 27.31750; 76.43694Coordinates: 27°19′3″N 76°26′13″E / 27.31750°N 76.43694°E / 27.31750; 76.43694
Area866 km2 (334 sq mi)
Established1955
Governing bodyProject Tiger, Government of Rajasthan, Wildlife Warden, Sariska National Park

Sariska Tiger Reserve is a national park and tiger reserve located in the Alwar district of the state of Rajasthan, India. The topography of the protected area comprises scrub-thorn arid forests, rocky landscapes, dry deciduous forests, rocks, grasses and hilly cliffs. This area was a hunting preserve of the Alwar state and it was declared a wildlife reserve in 1955. It was given the status of a tiger reserve making it a part of India's Project Tiger in 1978. The wildlife sanctuary covers an area of 866 km2 (334 sq mi). The reserve was declared a national park in 1990, with a total area of about 273.8 km2 (105.7 sq mi).[1] It is the first reserve in the world to have successfully relocated tigers.

The park is situated 106 km (66 mi) away from Hindaun, 107 km (66 mi) from Jaipur and 200 km (120 mi) from Delhi.[2] It is a part of the Aravalli Range and the Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests' ecoregion.[3] It is rich in mineral resources, such as copper. In spite of the Supreme Court's 1991 ban on mining in the area, marble mining continues to threaten the environment.[4]

Tiger population[edit]

In 2003, 16 tigers lived in the reserve. In 2004, it was reported that no Bengal tigers were sighted in the reserve, and that no indirect evidence of tiger presence was found such as pug marks, scratch marks on trees, scats. The Rajasthan Forest Department explained that "the tigers had temporarily migrated outside the reserve and would be back after monsoon season". Project Tiger, now National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), backed this assumption. In January 2005, it was reported that that there were no tigers left in Sariska.[5] The Rajasthan Forest Department and the Project Tiger Director declared an "emergency tiger census" in Sariska. The Central Bureau of Investigation, India's intelligence agency, conducted a probe. After a two-month investigation, the agency finally declared that no tigers were left in the reserve. Poaching was blamed for the disappearance of tigers. In order to repopulate Sariska with tigers, three tigers were relocated to the reserve, and authorities planned to relocate two more tigers by the end of the following year. Recently[when?], two tiger cubs and their mother were spotted in the reserve bringing the total number of tigers to seven with five adults.[6] In July 2014, two more cubs were spotted, so that there were 11 tigers in total.[7] Two more cubs were sighted in August 2014, so that the population increased to 13 individuals.[citation needed]

As of October 2018, there are 18 tigers including five cubs.[8]

Relocation efforts[edit]

Tiger in the Sariska Tiger Reserve. The collar around its neck is used to track and monitor it.

In 2005, the Government of Rajasthan, in cooperation with the Government of India and Wildlife Institute of India (WII), planned the re-introduction of tigers to Sariska and also the relocation of villages.[9] Plans to construct a bypass were also discussed.[10] It was decided to import one male and two females from Ranthambore National Park.[11] The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) along with the Government of Rajasthan started tracking the relocated tigers with the help of ISRO's reconnaissance satellites.[12] The first aerial translocation of the male tiger (Dara) from Ranthambhore to Sariska was done on 28 June 2008 by Wing Commander Vimal Raj of the Indian Air Force using a Mi-17 Helicopter.[13]

Only two of the four villages' experts had said needed to be relocated were actually moved, though the second, Kankwari,[14] was shifted long after the tigers were re-introduced. However, Kankwari fort has been renovated by the state tourism department, which can possibly violate wildlife protection norms.[15] The first relocated village was Bhagani. Also, the diversion of roads crossing the reserve, an issue critical to the survival of its wildlife, continues to be a problem.[16]

One more tigress was shifted to Sariska from Ranthambhore in February 2009.[17] On 28 July 2010, another tigress was brought from Ranthambhore National Park. Totaling five tigers — two males and three females — were living in the reserve until November 2010 when the first relocated tiger died[18] due to poisoning.[19]

Unfortunately, the first three of the relocated tigers came from one father. Moreover, the first two tigresses have the same mother.[20][21] The breeding of close relatives leads to inbreeding.

General information[edit]

Water body within the Sariska Reserve, Rajasthan.
  • Area: 866 km2
  • Altitude: between 300 m and 722 m MSL
  • Rainfall: average 650 mm (per year)
  • Forest types: tropical, dry, deciduous, and tropical thorn

Flora and fauna[edit]

Apart from the Bengal tiger, the reserve includes many species of wildlife, such as the Indian leopard, jungle cat, caracal, striped hyena, Indian jackal, chital, sambhar, nilgai, chinkara, four-horned antelope,[22] wild boar, hare, hanuman langur, rhesus monkeys. Sariska is also ethereal for bird watchers with some of the rarest feathered species like grey partridge, white-throated kingfisher, Indian peafowl, bush quail, sandgrouse, treepie, golden-backed woodpecker, crested serpent eagle and the Indian eagle-owl.

The dominant tree in the forests is dhok (Anogeissus pendula). Other trees include the salar (Boswellia serrata), kadaya (Sterculia urens), dhak (Butea monosperma), gol (Lannea coromandelica), ber (Ziziphus mauritiana) and khair (Acacia catechu). Bargad (Ficus benghalensis), arjun (Terminalia arjuna), gugal (Commiphora wightii) or bamboo. Shrubs are numerous, such as kair (Capparis decidua), adusta (Adhatoda vesica) and jhar ber (Ziziphus nummularia).

Places of interest[edit]

Sariska Palace, a former royal hunting lodge

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sariska National Park – complete detail – updated". Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Sariska National Park, Sariska Tiger Reserve". Archived from the original on 2007-06-08.
  3. ^ "Kathiawar-Gir dry deciduous forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund. Retrieved 2017-01-29.
  4. ^ "Illegal mining threatens Sariska". The Times of India. 2010-10-13. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  5. ^ Have you seen a tiger at Sariska since June? If yes, you’re the only one Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine. Indian Express, 23 January 2005.
  6. ^ Sharma, Rajendra (1 October 2012). "Sariska reserve gets tiger number 007". The Times of India. Retrieved 2017-12-31.
  7. ^ "Two tiger cubs spotted in Rajasthan's Sariska Tiger Reserve". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  8. ^ "Tigress ST-12 gives birth to 3 cubs at Sariska - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2018-10-23.
  9. ^ "Rajasthan plots return of big cats". Times of india. 2005-09-09. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  10. ^ "Sariska on road to recovery, literally". Times of india. 2006-11-27. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  11. ^ "Sariska to get three tigers". Times of India. 2008-03-07. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  12. ^ Huggler, Justin (2006-01-15). "India turns to spy technology to save tigers". London: The Independent. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  13. ^ *Sharma, Sunayan (2015). Sariska: The Tiger Reserve Roars Again. New Delhi: Niyogi Books. ISBN 9789383098712.
  14. ^ http://cs-test.ias.ac.in/cs/Downloads/download_pdf.php?titleid=id_097_10_1399_1400_0
  15. ^ Also by Jay Mazoomdaar. "Now, Who's Crouching?". OPEN Magazine. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  16. ^ "Sariska Tiger Reserve vetoes road conversion proposal". Times of India. 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  17. ^ "National : Young tigress at home in Sariska". Chennai, India: The Hindu. 2009-03-06. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  18. ^ Also by Jay Mazoomdaar. "Dispatched to Die". OPEN Magazine. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  19. ^ "Sariska Tiger Was Poisoned: Forensic Report". Outlook. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  20. ^ Also by Jay Mazoomdaar. "Conservation: the New Killer". OPEN Magazine. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  21. ^ "Proved: Siblings sent to mate in Sariska". Hindustan Times. 2010-06-22. Archived from the original on 2012-10-21. Retrieved 2011-10-06.
  22. ^ Lenin, Janaki (15 November 2010). "Creatures of a lesser God". The Financial Express. Retrieved 2017-12-31.

Further reading[edit]

  • Dang, Himraj (2005) Sariska National Park. Indus Publishing Company, New Delhi. ISBN 81-7387-177-9.
  • Sharma, Sunayan (2015) Sariska: The Tiger Reserve Roars Again. Niyogi Books, New Delhi. ISBN 9789383098712.
  • Ziddi, Suraj (1998) A guide to the wildlife parks of Rajasthan. Photo Eye Publications, Jaipur.

External links[edit]