The Union government has given the nod to a proposal to grant the Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand the status of a tiger reserve.

It will be the second tiger reserve in the State after the Corbett National Park.

Announcing this here over the weekend, Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) S.S. Sharma said the elevated status would go a long way in conservation of tigers in the region.

There are at present 42 tiger reserves in the country.

Citing a communication received from the Centre in this regard, Mr. Sharma said the tiger reserve at the Rajaji National Park would cover an area of 1,150 sq.km, including Shyampur of the Haridwar forest division, Kotdwar and Laldhang ranges.

Tigers are present in the Chilla and Dhaulkhand ranges of the park, which is spread over 820 sq.km in Haridwar, Dehra Dun and Pauri Garhwal districts. It has the largest elephant population in the State besides tigers, deer and other animals.

Chief Minister Vijay Bahuguna made an announcement in this regard on April 1 after which the State Wildlife Board sent a proposal to the Centre which was accepted, Mr. Sharma said.

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