Tiger reserves to be closed during monsoon – Project Tiger Directive

Anup Kumar Nayak, The Project Tiger’s Additional Director General, has sent an advisory to the states to stop tourism in tiger reserves during the monsoon season. The advisory was the second reminder for the one issued in 2015, directing the closure of tiger reserve during monsoon (July-September).

“This directive and a subsequent reminder on July 12, 2017 have not yielded any response from most states, I am to reiterate that the 2015 directive should be followed in letter and spirit in the interest of tiger conservation,” Nayak’s advisory reads.

Nayak is also Member Secretary of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

Monsoon season is considered breeding time of wildlife. Another reason for the advisory was, the closure of the parks during monsoon allows for undisturbed rejuvenation of forests.

It is estimated there are 2,226 tigers in all of the 50 tiger reserves in the country, spread over an area of 71, 027 square kilo meters.

Ranthambore National Park in Rajastan, which attracts lakhs of domestic as well as foreign visitors, operates during monsoon in its buffer areas.

“There was no tourism in the park’s core areas. Last year, Rajasthan’s wildlife department decided to open limited routes in core areas for tourism after NTCA raised objections,” said YK Sahu, Park director.

Nayak said that 2015 advisory did not make any distinction between core and buffer areas in the reserve, it comprises both parts. “Ideally, there should be no tourism in either part, because a tiger reserve covers both core and buffer,” he added.

Ranthambore, Sariska, Jim Corbett, Kanha, Pench, Panna, Bandhavgarh, Tadoba-Andhari, Bhadra, Bandipur, Periyar and Nagarhole are some of the most visited tiger reserves in the country.