The new Parambikulam Tiger Reserve, the second in the State after Periyar, will be inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh on February 17, 2010 at Parambikulam.

Kerala Forest Minister Binoy Viswam, who has taken key interest to make the tiger reserve a reality, will preside over the function.

The new Tiger Reserve will have a total area of 648.50 sq. kms.

The total buffer of the area is 225.30 sq. km. The newly added core is 188.20 sq. km and the existing core of Parambikulam Wild Life Sanctuary is 235 sq. km.

Converting the existing Parambikulam Wild Life Sanctuary adding more forest areas spread to the States of Kerala and Tamil Nadu will help the better protection of the area, the Sanctuary officials here said.

The infrastructure, eco-development and the payment of the salary to the staff etc., will come from the Centre. So it is also a big economic relief for the State government, said Dr. P.S. Easa, a member of the expert committee constituted by the Government for identifying the areas for Tiger Reserve.

The Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act, 2006 in the Section 38 V (4) defined the Tiger Reserve which includes the core or critical tiger habitat and the buffer or the peripheral area.

As per the Section 38V (4(i) of the Act, the core is defined as “core or critical tiger habitat areas of National Parks and sanctuaries, where it has been established, on the basis of Scientific and objective criteria, that such areas are required to be kept as inviolate for the purposes of tiger conservation, without affecting the rights of the Scheduled Tribes or such other forest dwellers, and notified as such by the State Government in consultation with an Expert Committee constituted for the purpose”, he said.

The buffer is defined as “buffer or peripheral area consisting of the area peripheral to critical tiger habitat or core area, identified and established in accordance with the provisions contained in Explanation (i) of Section 38 V (4), where a lesser degree of habitat protection is required to ensure the integrity of the critical tiger habitat with adequate dispersal for tiger species, and which aim at promoting co-existence between wildlife and human activity with due recognition of the livelihood, developmental, social and cultural rights of the local people, wherein the limits of such areas are determined on the basis of scientific and objective criteria in consultation with the concerned Gram Sabha and an Expert Committee constituted for the purpose,” Dr. Easa said.

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