Madhya Pradesh CM wrote to Odisha CM, asking him to ensure that Sundari – a tigress shifted as part of India’s first inter-state translocation project in 2018 –is kept in proper care and appropriate environment until the Ghorela centre in Kanha Tiger Reserve is ready to accommodate her.
Why did the translocation project come up?
- In the last 16 years, Odisha’s tiger population has reduced by 104 from 132 in 2002 to 28 in 2018.
- In the backdrop of this, NTCA in September-November 2017 had approved a project to augment and recover tiger population in Satkosia tiger reserve (963 sqkm) in Odisha.
- Consequent to this, permission was granted to capture two tigers from tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh. NTCA also took technical help of Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun.
Inter-state translocation project in 2018 and the controversy over it
- Mahavir and Sundari were the first pair of tiger and tigress sent to Satkosia from MP’s Panna Tiger Reserve and Bandhavghar respectively as part of the translocation project.
- The two states have been at loggerheads over the relocation of Sundari after she killed two villagers living in the peripheral of Satkosia Tiger Reserve in Odisha a few months after being brought in from Madhya Pradesh.
- Both states then wrote to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), with Odisha urging that Sundari be sent back while Madhya Pradesh remained reluctant.
- This project was suspended by NTCA, a statutory body under MoEFCC monitoring tiger reserves, after it found that “pre-requisite conditions for reintroduction of tigers were not followed”.
- In 2019, Madhya Pradesh finally agreed to take back Sundari following an NTCA order.