The new sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, the Thanthai Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary is home to tigers, leopards, wild boars and elephants (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@supriyasahuias)
Providing a further thrust to wildlife conservation, the Tamil Nadu Government has announced its 18th Wildlife Sanctuary. Christened as Thanthai Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary it will be spread over 80,567 hectares and is carved out of four forest ranges, namely, Bargur, Anthiyur, Chennampatti and Thattakarai.
Located in the Erode district of the State, this notified area is home to tigers, leopards, elephants, guars, wild boars and deer. What makes the new sanctuary important is its strategic location as it has Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve on its western side, Kollegal forest division on the northern and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary on the eastern.
Moreover, as per K. Rajkumar, Conservator of Forests and Field Director, STR, this new sanctuary apart from providing a good prey base will form a tiger corridor by connecting STR, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, CWS and Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary.
In a big push to the ongoing conservation efforts,TN announces the new “Thanthai Periyar Wildlife Sanctuary”in 80567 Ha. in Erode.21 species of mammals,136 species of Birds & 118 species of Butterflies are here. #ThanthaiPeriyarwildlifeSanctuary #TNBudget #TNBudger2023 #TNForest pic.twitter.com/udGRLbOH3Y
— Supriya Sahu IAS (@supriyasahuias) March 20, 2023
Applauding the move, Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forests said: “The announcement is a big push to the ongoing conservation efforts.” She added that there are 21 species of mammals, 136 species of birds and 118 species of butterflies in the new sanctuary.
The new sanctuary will provide for appointment of more anti-poaching watchers and camps; removal of invasive species; mitigation of man-animal conflicts and provide a boost to Asian elephant conservation.
Allaying the fears of the tribals living in the area, the forest department officials said they will not face any restrictions in doing their job in these areas. Clarifying this, Rajkumar said that tribal people living in six settlements have already got titles and will continue to enjoy their rights under the Forests Rights Act.