Odisha to bring tigresses to improve genetic diversity in Similipal

Prameyanews English

Published By : Prameya News Bureau | February 28, 2024 IST

Tiger in Similipal

Bhubaneswar, Feb 28: Odisha government has sought permission from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for bringing tigresses from other landscapes to improve genetic diversity of big cats in Similipal tiger reserve (STR) following growing concern over rising population of melanistic tigers in the sanctuary.

Similipal is the only habitat in the world to have black or pseudo-melanistic tigers, a rare variant of the Royal Bengal Tiger. 

Out of the 24 tigers camera trapped in STR, 13 are melanistic, the All Odisha Tiger Estimation (AOTE) 2023-24 report released on Monday revealed. The condition is due to melanism that results in dark pigmentation in skin.

Black tiger is a phenotype that has occurred in Similipal primarily due to inbreeding. We have written to NTCA seeking its permission to introduce female tigers from other landscapes to improve genetic diversity of tigers in STR, said PCCF (wildlife) and chief wildlife warden (CWW) Susanta Nanda 

Similarly, efforts are also on to revive the big cat population in Satkosia tiger reserve. “The Forest department is now focused on creation of meadows and more inviolate space in the tiger reserve,” Nanda said.

Notably, the All India Tiger Estimate (AITE) 2022 had estimated 20 tigers in the STR last year. 

 

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