The fourth tiger reserve has been notified by the Uttar Pradesh Government.
- The state cabinet has approved the notification of Uttar Pradesh’s fourth tiger reserve in the Ranipur Wildlife Sanctuary (RWS) in Chitrakoot district under the Wild life (Protection) Act of 1972.
- While this wildlife sanctuary does not host tigers of its own, it is often frequented by tigers from the neighbouring Panna Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh.
- Panna Tiger Reserve and the RWS are situated close to each other and the latter is an important corridor for the movement of tigers.
- A 2018 survey by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) revealed that Ranipur hosts three tigers.
- The Ranipur Tiger Reserve will span across 529.89 square kilometres, with 299.58 sq km as buffer zone and the rest is the core area, which was already notified as the RWS in 1977.
- The new tiger reserve has tropical deciduous forests and hosts fauna like tigers, leopards, sloth bears, spotted deer, sambhar and chinkara.
- It also houses numerous birds and reptiles.
- This is the fourth tiger reserve in the state, after Dudhwa, Pilibhit and Amangarh (buffer of Corbett Tiger Reserve).
- This is the first tiger reserve in Bundelkhand region, which spans across the states of Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
- The state government is now planning to set up Ranipur Tiger Conservation Foundation to protect tigers in the region.
- According to the NTCA’s 2018 estimates, India hosts nearly 3,000 tigers.
- Uttar Pradesh houses 173 tigers, with Dudhwa National Park having the highest population.
Tiger Reserves in India
India currently has 53 tiger reserves. They are governed by Project Tiger, which comes under the jurisdiction of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). Project Tiger was launched in 1973 to protect Bengal tiger population in its natural habitat.