6 February 2021.
Government of India has given its approval for the creation of a fifth tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu that will encompass the Meghamalai and Srivilliputhur and Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuaries.
- The tiger reserve will surround the Meghamalai and the Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuaries within it.
- The approval was given in the backdrop of the demand by the environmental activists.
- The activists were demanding for the creation of a tiger reserve linking the two sanctuaries in the adjoining areas of Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala.
- They also demand to connect the tiger reserve with the Tirunelveli Wildlife Sanctuary and the Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve.
- The environmentalists seek to make a contiguous corridor for the tigers to move.
- The tiger reserve will spread to 1.48 lakh hectares of land comprising of the Srivilliputhur Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary, Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary and Tirunelveli Wildlife Sanctuary.
The new tiger reserve will not only lead to wildlife protection of the country’s flagship species but will also result in the rejuvenation of the Vaigai river by protecting the river’s origins in these forests.
Srivilliputhur Wildlife Sanctuary
- It is also known as the Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary (GSWS).
- The sanctuary was established in the year 1988 with the objective of protecting the Near threatened grizzled giant squirrel.
- It is bordered by the Periyar Tiger Reserve in the southwest.
- The sanctuary is also called as one of the best-preserved forests lying south of the Palghat Gap.
National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA)
- It was established in December 2005.
- The authority was set up on the recommendations of Tiger Task Force constituted by the Prime Minister of India with the objective of protecting the tigers.
- It was established under section 38 L (1) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.
- The authority gets the power from section 38 O (1) of the act of 1972.