NAGPUR: Two young male tigers, one travelling 1,160km and another 450km, seem to be among the longest distances covered by any individual tiger and dispersal recorded by big cats. A radio-collared tiger C1 from Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Pandharkawda in Yavatmal had stepped out of the sanctuary in search of new territory on June 21, 2019.
C1 was one of three cubs of T1, a resident tigress of the park. It was collared on February 27, 2019. It went out of the park on June 21 and has so far travelled 1,160km and counting.
The tiger survived getting entangled in a wire snare before collaring has covered six districts in two states of Telangana and Maharashtra. It went towards Painganga wildlife sanctuary and went towards Kawal tiger reserve in Telangana.
After exploring areas near Kawal, C1 turned back and went to Painganga followed by Isapur bird sanctuary, Pusad, Hingoli, Washim and now Akola. During its entire journey, despite moving along human-dominated landscape, tiger was never seen by anyone until November 3, when it accidentally injured a villager from Sukali near Hingoli. Now it is 70km from Melghat Tiger Reserve in Amravati district.
Another individual K7, male cub of second litter of resident tigress Falguna in Kagaznagar (Telangana), has moved around 450km. It was first recorded on September 11, 2019, in Pranhita Wildlife Sanctuary under Sironcha forest division in Maharashtra . Forest officials expected the tiger would return after rains but it was seen on Oct 19 in Chamorshi in Allapalli forest division in Gadchiroli.
“From stripe pattern, it is the same tiger that moved out in September from Kadamba area under Kagaznagar. K7 was pushed by another dominating male A1,” said forest range officer (FRO) S Venu Gopal, who has been monitoring tigers in the area. “Such dispersal is good indication for genetically viable populations in the long run,” Gopal added.
Maharashtra chief wildlife warden Nitin H Kakodkar said, “Tigers may be dispersing earlier too. With radio collaring, we are able to know better about corridors and dispersal patterns. Tipeshwar tiger’s movement shows big cats are crying for space, especially after increase in numbers from 190 (2014) to 312 (2018) in the state. We need to explore potential of Gadchiroli to accommodate increasing numbers.”
“We will discuss radio collaring tigers in Gadchiroli with Wildlife Institute of India (WII),” he added.
WII scientist Bilal Habib said, “Movement of Tipeshwar tiger is perhaps the longest by any individual in the country. dispersal of C1 towards Melghat or Satpura ranges indicates functional connectivity of the landscape. This also shows ability of tigers to negotiate through human-dominated landscapes and opens new challenges for conservation,” said Habib.
“Collaring tigers in Gadchiroli is must, particularly when forest guards have huge areas to monitor. Besides, there is need to bring Pranhita sanctuary under the jurisdiction of wildlife as territorial staff cannot do justice with multiple duties,” said Uday Patel, honorary wildlife warden of Gadchiroli.
Allapalli deputy conservator of forests CR Tambe said, “We have installed 8 camera traps to monitor dispersing K7. During its entire journey, the tiger did not harm anyone and was mostly feeding on cattle. It survived threats like electrocution by farmers.”
ROARING TO GO
* Tipeshwar tiger C1 was collared by WII on February 27, 2019
* It finally stepped out of Tipeshwar on June 21.
* C1 travelled through six districts in Telangana and Maharashtra and is still moving. It is being monitored by forest department and WII
* The tiger is 70km from Melghat Tiger Reserve and Satpura forest ranges
* Another individual, K7 is part of second litter of tigress Falguna in Kagaznagar
* Pushed out by dominant male A1, K7 crossed swollen Pranhita river and entered Pranhita sanctuary in Gadchiroli in September
* In last one month it has travelled 450km to reach Chamorshi in Gadchiroli district
LONGEST RECORDED TIGER DISPERSALS
1,160km | Tiger C1 from Tipeshwar Wildlife sanctuary in Yavatmal district to Akola wildlife division in 2019. The tiger is yet to make its own territory and settle down
510km | 2-year-old tiger from Chandrapur Super Thermal Power Station around August 15, 2018, through Wani in Yavatmal, Wardha, Amravati, Betul, Ghoradongri, Hoshangabad, Satpura power plant in Sarni
450km | K7, a young male from Telangana travelled to Chamorshi in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra in October 2019
300km | MP Tiger from Nagda Hills (Jan-Nov, 2017) Mangliya (Nov 22-24, 2017), Barnagar (Nov 25-28, 2017) Badnawar (Nov 29-Dec 4, 2017), Petlawad (Dec 4-7, 2017), Lunawada (Feb 2019)
280km | Tiger from Bandipur Tiger Reserve to near Shikaripur town in Shimoga district of Karnataka in 2011
250km | Tigress from Kanha to Pench (Maharashtra) in 2008; tiger from South Kheri in Dudhwa to Rahmankhera in 2012
150km | Bor tigress to Pohra-Malkhed in Amravati
135km | Tiger Nawab from Kalmeshwar to Pohra-Malkhed
120km | Jai (now dead) from Nagzira (Bhandara) to Umred-Karhandla Sanctuary (Nagpur) in 2013
80km | PTR-T8 (Prince) from Pench (Mah) to Bhandara division in 2014
70km | Tigress Kaani from New Nagzira to Navegaon sanctuary
45km | A radio-collared tiger from Pivarthadi, Bodhalzira, Bakhari, Kirangisarra & Mansinghdeo in MP
And don’t forget this …
In 2013, wildlife biologist Aditya Joshi’s paper showed genetic evidence of tiger dispersal from Kanha to Nagarjunasagar (AP), a distance of over 650km making it one of the longest distances recorded