Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve and Its Challenges

  • 21:31
  • Published On: July 12, 2014
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The Sathyamangalam tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu was declared as a tiger reserve only last year in 2013. One of the lesser known tiger reserves of India it was fraught with tension and conflict, notoriously famous as the land of the dacoit and poacher Veerappan. Veerappan roamed these forests with the adjoining Biligiri Ranga hills with armed men smuggling sandalwood and ivory. The repercussions of his actions can be felt even to this day with the skewed sex ratio of elephants and tuskless male elephants being found in these forests. Sathyamangalam is crucial wildlife corridor for elephants and tigers connecting the eastern and western ghats. The forest department has stepped up its operations in the park post Veerappans death in 2004, but man-animal conflict remains one of its biggest challenges. Other major challenges in the park include a Highway that bifurcates the tiger reserve and the problem of delayed compensation for cattles killed, which has made locals angry. Tourism infrastructure are almost non-existent in the reserve currently. Sathyamangalam houses a variety of forests in its landscape from dry deciduous forests to evergreen shola forests and is also known as the most haunted place in Tamil Nadu. Camera traps surveys conducted by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) have put the tiger figures in STR at 25 tigers. Recently a tigress with 5 cubs was spotted in the forest, depicting a new era for these forests, going forward.

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