new areas notified as sanctuaries
Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN | Mar 5, 2012
NAGPUR: In a big boost for wildlife, and tigers in particular, the
state government has notified four new sanctuaries by adding around 350
sq km to the existing 8,100 sq km under the protected area (PA)
The notifications were issued on February 27 and 28, and March 1, 2012.
The areas that have been notified include Umarzari adjoining Nagzira
Wildlife Sanctuary (152.81 sq km); Navegaon sanctuary around Navegaon
National Park (133.88) and new Bor sanctuary around existing Bor
Wildlife Sanctuary (61.1 sq km).
The notification will pave the way for declaring Navegaon-Nagzira as a
tiger reserve and Bor as part of the Pench Tiger Reserve. The state has
also renotified 2 sq km area of Nannaj sanctuary, which was the best
potential area for Great Indian Bustards (GIBs). When the 8,496.44 sq
km bustard sanctuary was denotified to 1,222.61 sq km, the 2 sq km area
was also included in it. However, now it has again been notified.
Official sources said to compensate the reduction in area of Nannaj
sanctuary in Solapur district, the government has come up with four new
areas as sanctuaries.
Wildlife experts like Kishor Rithe, Bittu Sahgal and Debi Goenka have
welcomed the move but said the move is inadequate to actually
compensate the loss of protected area. They claimed that it was decided
that area to be deleted from Nannaj sanctuary would be compensated by
notifying equal area as sanctuaries in Maharashtra.
"The GIB sanctuary area was reduced from 8,496.44 sq km to 1,222.61 sq
km, whereas government has only declared approximately 350 sq km area
as new sanctuaries. Hence, the efforts are not enough," Rithe, who is
also member of the National Wildlife Board (NBWL), said.
"As per the National Wildlife Action Plan, India should reserve 10%
area under wildlife sanctuaries and national parks. After Nannaj
denotification, the area in the state has drastically decreased from
4.97% to 2.6% i.e. from 15,332.49 sq km to 8,058.66 sq km - a sharp
drop of 60.55%. The government needs to bring more areas under the PA
network," said Debi Goenka.