By Marcellus D’Souza
April 18: The Amche Mollem group has launched an online awareness campaign aimed at protecting tigers found in Goa, this comes as a backdrop to Forestry Minister Vishwajit Rane, who is against the idea of a tiger reserve in Goa as it claims that the tigers are the only “non-residents” in the state and use a corridor to cross the state to move from Maharashtra to Karnataka.
The Minister chastised trolls on the subject saying he had not asked or taken advice from “trollers and environmentalists”. He said he didn’t need to be taught as he himself was a wildlife photographer and an environmental enthusiast. “This ‘advice’ won’t change my mind about establishing a tiger reserve in the state,” he replied aggressively.
The Amche Mollem group highlighted the importance of the Tri Junction forest habitat for tigers, which they say consists of the forests of Goa, Karnataka and Maharashtra which harbor the only population of breeding tigers in the Western Ghats. of north-central India. “The state of Karnataka has the Kali Tiger Reserve and the Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary which is connected to the protected areas of Goa which include the Bhagwan Mahaveer (Mollem) Sanctuary and National Park, the wildlife sanctuaries of Netravali, Cotigao and Mhadei. Bhigmad and Mhadei are further connected to Maharashtra State’s new Tillari Conservation Reserve and further to Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary,” Amche Mollen Group said.
Tigers in the Tri Junction forest habitat are at “high risk of local extinction”, the Amche Mollen group has warned and said the tigers are at risk of poaching. “Therefore, any additional disturbance from road expansion, railroad expansion, or removal of habitation for transmission lines may severely affect this one contiguous population of tigers in this area,” he added. band.
Rane had said last week: “A month-long tiger census in 2022 is currently underway in all Goa Wildlife Protected Areas.” “I know people are very concerned about tigers as they are extremely passionate. But declaring a tiger reserve is not advised as the tigers spotted in Goa are in transit.
“Declaring a tiger reserve will have a long term impact not only on the people residing in Mhadei Sanctuary but across the state,” Rane had stressed. The minister explained that the sightings that have been reported relate to a tiger traveling from neighboring Karnataka. Citing information he had received from the Forestry Department. Rane said: “I’ve been hearing tiger, tiger, tiger, tiger the last few days. The tiger enters Goa through a corridor before exiting the state,” Rane claimed.
“The tiger survey is different from a tiger census. Some people don’t understand these issues and try to distract people. As long as I am Minister of Forests, a responsibility given to me by the Minister in chief and the central government, we will operate as a friendly ministry. The forest department must work with the people. I will not allow any conflict with the people. We will make people-oriented and people-centered decisions,” Rane stressed. .
The presence of tigers in Goa has been recorded since 2002, when the animal census conducted by the State Forest Department first authenticated the presence of feral cats in the Mhadei region. A 2010 census showed the presence of five tigers in Goa. Sightings of tigers at Mhadei Sanctuary then became common.
A meeting was called today of forest officers and rangers.