|Big cats vanishing from Satkosia
By Siba Mohanty| ENS - BHUBANESWAR
26th March 2013
as it may sound, Satkosia Tiger Reserve seems headed the Sariska way.
Dwindling tiger signs and absence of breeding since two years in the
habitat have rung alarm bells for Odisha’s second tiger reserve (TR).
the 2010 enumeration by the National Tiger Conservation Authority
(NTCA), the tiger population was estimated at eight. A host of factors
now indicates that the number may have declined drastically. Although
the management of the tiger reserve is collecting tiger signs from the
prime habitats, they have been declining and are discouraging to say
According to sources, camera traps installed in the
tiger reserve have shown signs of existence of large cats, but the
population is reported to have hit the nadir. Already designated a low
tiger density reserve, the drop in population may push the large cats
into extinction in Satkosia soon. The number at present could well be
just one or two and unless urgent measures are taken, there would be
none left in near future.
‘’Tiger population does not seem to be
thriving since there are no signs of cubs with mothers or even
juveniles to suggest that breeding is taking place and the cycle is
going on. This could be fatal to the population,’’ said a source in
Satkosia. Interestingly, prey base in the tiger habitat, which is
connected to the tiger habitats of Central and Southern Odisha and
onwards to the Central India tiger landscape, has improved over the
last few years. The population of wild boar, spotted deer and sambhar
has jumped significantly, but there has been no sign of an improvement
in tiger population.
The Satkosia TR management too is aware of
the impending crisis. “Prey base has improved and so has the habitat
and there is no incident of poaching and no sign of
repopulation. It may have to do with the sex ratio of the existing
population,” Field Director Pandav Behera told “Express” on Monday.