Buxa tiger relocation project

In another couple of months, north Bengal's Buxa Tiger Reserve will become home to six big cats from Assam. If the detailed project report submitted to the state recently by the Global Tiger Forum is to be believed, Buxa, in the first phase, will get six tigers ­ two males and four females­ from either Kaziranga National Park or Orang in Assam, both of which now have surplus tiger population.

Bengal's chief wildlife warden Pradeep Vyas confirmed receiving the DPR. According to him, once the first phase relocation is over, there are plans to reintroduce at least six more big cats in the next nine years to carry on with the `tiger re-stocking plan'. Adding that they have plans to release 50 sambar deer from Jaldapara to improve the prey base in Buxa.

But wildlife enthusiasts are keeping their fingers crossed since Assam had earlier taken U-turn in 2010 and refused to hand over critically endangered pygmy hogs to the Bengal government under a similar reintroduction plan. Before that, the Assam government had also refused to part ways with its Barasingha, a threatened deer species.

Wildlife Institute of India scientist K Ramesh, who leads post-release monitoring programme for tiger reintroduction and had earlier monitored such a programme in MP's Panna, is giving scientific inputs for the project in Buxa too.

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