Secret of rising number of tigers in MP – efficient grass management

Bhopal, February 29, 2016 (Ataullah Faizan):   Efficient grass management in reserved areas is the secret behind rising number of tigers in the state. To provide quality and adequate grass to herbivores, grass has been grown scientifically in over 30 thousand hectares land of over 150 villages relocated from national parks and tiger reserves under Village Relocation Policy. Local experts have taken help in this from eminent grass specialists of South Africa and Dr. Mooratkar of India. Madhya Pradesh is pioneer in wildlife management and augmentation and its efforts are being replicated by several other states. Due to rise in number of herbivorous animals grazing quality grass, the tigers are also getting healthy and nutritious food. The state has 10 national parks and 25 sanctuaries including 6 tiger reserves. Village Relocation Policy, core areas of national parks and tiger reserves are made devoid of human population and efficient grass management is undertaken on vacated land.

Wherever villages have been relocated in the state, efficient grass management has been undertaken. Grass management is not only meeting our exiting fodder requirements, but will also be effective for rising number of wild animals in future. All vacated villages have emerged as high-quality wildlife habitats. Their safety during summer is ensured by drawing fireline on their fringes. Grass management is very significant in Satpura and Vindhyachal jungles, which are devoid of natural grasslands. In these reserved areas, grasslands have been developed wherever a village has been relocated.

As a result, carnivorous animals are getting quality food and habitats and carnivorous animals good food. Situation of Panna tiger reserve is just opposite where entire Hinauta plateau is a grassland with negligible density of trees. Due to it, grass remains available there in adequate quantity.  Grass management is undertaken in reserved areas every year. During rainy season, external species and weeds are continuously removed so that animals graze only eatable grass. In relocated villages, Chikoda, Gajar Ghas and other weeds grow profusely. If they are not weeded out, the place cannot turn into an ideal wildlife habitat. Besides, efforts are also to be made to prevent the area from becoming forest.