Rajasthan wildlife department sets the stage for ‘Catwalk’ in the Mukundara Hills. Nestled in the heart of lush green forests of Rajasthan’s Hadoti belt, the Mukundara Hills, after Ranthambore and Sariska, is the third tiger reserve in the desert state. The Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve emerged from the relics of smaller sanctuaries in the Kota region. Ever since its inception in 2013, the forest officers were preparing it for the majestic felines, mainly panthers, and tigers. Four years since its origin, the park is all set to welcome the big cats, this winter.
The forest department made elaborate preparations before introducing the cats in Mukundara…
Rajasthan forest department officers developed an inviolate breeding area for the ungulates (large mammals) for the cats to prey. The vast area measuring 900 hectares, close to the Gagron-Nolav region served as their new home. The reserve was confined within the sturdy, high-reaching walls and stone gates to restrict human intervention. A core area of 417 square kilometers with the surrounding buffer zone of 342.82 square kilometers collectively forms the Mukundara Hills Tiger Reserve. As of now, the MHTR covers four major districts in Rajasthan- Jhalawar, Kota, Bundi, and Chittorgarh.
The Kali Sindh River lazily meanders through the forest, offering cool water to the parched animals. This area is a home to chinkaras, panthers, blue bulls, gharials and wild boars. Over the years, the authorities developed proper roads and water facilities for humans and ungulates with a budget of Rs 40 lakhs.
Towering Walls & a Steady Prey Base will provide Comfort to the Big Cats…
300 Sambhar from the Cantt area of Kota and Cheetal from Jodhpur Zoo were relocated to the park to set up a solid prey base for the striped cats. The authorities completed all preparations before the deadline, thus earning the NTCA’s (National Tiger Conservation Authority) approval for the reintroduction of tigers by December 2017.
A 40-km boundary wall worth Rs 12 crores will ensure the safety of tigers inside the park. They committed to fortifying Jhalana Forest area, Jawai Leopard Reserve in Pali and Sariska Tiger Reserve. A special budget of Rs 60 crore was proposed for video surveillance and night patrolling. These measures will discourage illegal activities like hunting and poaching.
With everything set in its place, thundering roars will soon overpower the silence of Mukundara Hills when the mighty cats reclaim their territory.