The plan would be submitted to the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

With tigers ageing and their numbers decreasing in the Buxa Tiger Reserve in North Bengal, authorities plan to start captive breeding to maintain the population of the big cats.

“We are preparing a plan on the suggestion of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on the possibility of captive breeding of tigers in Buxa which has been identified as a reserve with a low density population of big cats,” Field Director of BTR R P Saini said.

The plan was currently under discussion and after finalisation would be submitted to NTCA, he said.

“With the striped predators in Buxa ageing, young tigers if introduced for captive breeding, would have to be brought from a habitat similar to Buxa,” Mr. Saini said.

He said the habitats like the Dudhwa National Park in Uttar Pradesh besides Manas and Kaziranga National Parks in Assam were similar to Buxa.

The relocation of the big cats from those reserves would require the permission of the respective state governments as well as clearance by the Centre.

To a question, he said that Buxa was not the first tiger reserve where captive breeding of tigers was suggested. .

“Tigers were relocated in Sariska earlier for a similar purpose,” he said.

After captive breeding tigers would be released in the wild, he said.

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