Pilibhit Wildlife Sanctuary gets tiger reserve forest status
Jun 14, 2014

In a move that comes as a shot in the arm for wildlife and tiger conservation, the Uttar Pradesh Government has notified the Pilibhit Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve with effect from June 9, 2014. The upgrade in the status is expected to strengthen the ongoing tiger conservation efforts in the state.

This is the third tiger reserve in UP after Dudhwa, which was notified in 1987, and Amangarh Tiger Reserve in Bijnor, notified in 2012. The Pilibhit Tiger reserve will comprise of forest ranges of Mala, Mahof, Barahi, Deoria and Haripur and has a total area of 73,024.98 hectares. The core area will comprise 6,279.8 hectares, while the buffer zone comprising the Khutar range in Shahjahanpur will be of 12,745.2 hectares. Due to the upgradation to a tiger reserve it will stand to gain more budgetary support from the Central Government which will help in its preservation.

According to the Special Secretary to the department of environment and forests, Pratibha Singh, "The Pilibhit Wildlife Sanctuary was accorded sanctuary status in February. Of the total tiger population in the country, about 118 are in UP, while approximately 30 tigers are in Pilibhit area. This notification will allow us to strengthen our efforts towards tiger conservation and promotion of eco-tourism in the state".

Apart from saving the tiger which is the apex predator, the tiger reserve notification and the consequent enhancement in protection will help in conservation of other rare species like the Bengal florican, swamp deer and leopard. Hopefully the increased effort in protection and habitat management will lead to better forage and hence increase in prey base for the predators. So the recently seen cases of tigers in the fields adjoining the forests is likely to get reduced brining the number of unwanted human-animal conflicts.

Pilibhit Tiger Reserve — Salient facts

Area: 73024.98 hectares of which is 6279.80 hectares is core forest area.

Notified as Tiger Reserve on June 9, 2014.

Home to the Bengal Tiger, the Indian leopard, swamp deer and the Bengal florican and hog deer, among other rare species.

Eco-tourism possibilities: The Chuka Interpretation Zones on the banks of Sharda in Pilibhit. The Sharda Sagar dam forms the Sharda Sagar reservoir. The ecologically endangered Sal forests known for their rich biodiversity, home to various species of birds and animals.

Philibhit Tiger reserve is the third in UP to be notified as reserve forest area.

The other two reserve forest areas are Dudhwa Tiger reserve and Amangarh Tiger Reserve in Bijnor.

First tiger reserve in UP, Dudhwa (vital stats- Total area of 2201.7748 hectares of which core area is 1093.79 hectares). Declared in 1987.

Second tiger reserve was Amangarh Tiger Reserve which was declared in 2012. It spans 80.6 square km and acts as a buffer zone to Corbett Tiger Reserve.