Karnataka gets its fourth `Project Tiger' sanctuary


State, Centre to implement the project jointly

Grant may go up from Rs. 30 lakh to Rs. 15 croreSteps to protect wildlife rewarded: Kumaraswamy

BANGALORE: Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary and the adjoining Anshi National Park have been granted the special status of `Project Tiger.' With this, Karnataka, which boasts of three `Project Tiger' sanctuaries, has now got a fourth. The Central and the State Governments will implement this jointly. The Dandeli sanctuary and the Anshi National Park together have around 40 tigers.

Madhya Pradesh is the only other State that has five Project Tiger areas including one which has the famed white tigers. Among the southern States, Tamil Nadu and Kerala have one `Project Tiger' each. Kerala has also sought `Project Tiger' status for Parambikulam, which is pending approval.

It has been a long-drawn demand of the State Forest Department and the wildlife conservationists here to safeguard the tiger habitat in the Dandeli region. The Centre gave the "in-principle clearance" for the fourth `Project Tiger' in the State in 2006. The Dandeli Project Tiger (inclusive of Anshi) is spread over 825 sq.km., and along with the Mahaveer Wildlife Sanctuary of Goa covers an area of over 2,000 sq.km.

Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy told The Hindu that he was delighted that the State's effort at protecting the forest wealth and wildlife habitat had been rewarded with another `Project Tiger' area. Official sources said the final notification was issued a few days ago. The new wildlife sanctuary, which has a large area and is home to a variety of flora and fauna, is expected to be inaugurated in about a month.

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