As per the latest report, tiger reserves in Rajasthan have witnessed a rise in the big cat population with 49 tiger cubs being born in last 7 years. Reportedly, the state currently houses 85 tigers including 70 at Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, 14 at Sariska Tiger Reserve, and a newly relocated male tiger at Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve.
The leading reserve in the charts is Ranthambore where 18 tigresses gave birth to 40 cubs in the last 6 years. This growth has been achieved because of the various steps were taken by authorities to curb illegal activities like 24×7 monitoring and providing a healthy prey base for the big cats.
Talking about Sariska, the reserve had lost all its big cats by 2005 and then 8 tigers were transferred from Ranthambore in 2008. Since then 9 cubs have been added whereby ST-10 and ST-2 were the first two tigresses to give birth to two cubs each. Although forest officials are excited about the growth, they have also warned of the threats posed to the survival of these big cats.
As per Chief Wildlife Warden GV Reddy, the department is further making efforts to protect the big cats and increase the inviolate areas. The total forest area of the state can house 150 to 200 tigers at a time. Earlier, there have been mysterious deaths of some tiger cubs and there are several anthropogenic causes that increase the high mortality rate.
Apart from the deaths, tigers have gone missing earlier in Sariska Reserve which is a serious concern for the officials. In order to counter all these challenges, the authorities have come up with several measures like fitting the Tigers with highly advanced GPS-enabled radio collars, relocation of native villagers, and round-the-clock monitoring.
Furthermore, the core areas of 5 wildlife sanctuaries including Ranthambore, Sariska, Mukundra, Jhalana, and Jawaibag are going to be equipped with the hi-tech anti-poaching system. The state is planning to equip hi-tech mechanism consisting of drones, thermal imaging cameras and high-resolution dome cameras, data centers, radio sets, etc.