MM Hills may become state's 6th tiger reserve
State Wildlife Board proposes to Centre to grant tag.
- Karnataka is all set to get its sixth tiger reserve, with the State Wildlife Board deciding to propose to the Centre to notify Malai Mahadeshwara Hills Wildlife Sanctuary (MM Hills) as a tiger reserve.
- The government had earlier proposed to declare the CWS as a tiger reserve jointly with MM Hills. If the proposal had come through, the tiger reserve would have gone by the name - Cauvery-Malai Mahadeshwara Tiger Reserve (CMTR).
- MM Hills, spread over 906 sq km, was home to 13 tigers, while CWS (with 10 forests is an area of 1,027.53 sq km) had 17 tigers.
- The adjoining tiger habitats - Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple (BRT) in Karnataka and Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) in Tamil Nadu have been acting as an effective source sink landscape, increasing the density of tigers and their prey in MM Hills.
- In addition to connecting BRT, through the Edyaralli-Doddasampige elephant corridor, MM Hills also connects the Bannerghatta National Park, forming a contiguous landscape of 3,000 sq km of wildlife habitat. This is one of the largest landscapes in the country for conservation of tigers, elephants and other large and wide ranging mammalian species.
- Tiger population in BRT Tiger Reserve has reached critical threshold limits, dispersing young tigers to other areas - MM Hills and CWS. The proposed tiger reserve is also rich in flora and fauna.