When: 01 July, 2017
Where: Ranthambore, Sawai Madhopur
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With the monsoon’s approaching, comes disappointment for all game-safari lovers. The wildlife safari for the season usually comes to a close. But in order to promote ecotourism, the forest officials have initiate jungle safari’s in their respective buffer zone’s from July 01, 2017. It is indeed a good news for wildlife lovers as National Parks have come up with monsoon safari’s this year. According to the authorities, the safaris will not focus on tiger sightings but to educate people about the richness of Forest reserve’s.
The forest reserves of Rajasthan that are closed during the monsoons include Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, Sariska Tiger Reserve, Keolado National Park, Darrah Sanctuary, Sajjangarh Santuary, Kumbalgarh Sanctuary, Desert national Park as well as Mount Abu Sanctuary. Out of which Ranthambore National Park (RNP), Sariska iger Reserve and Mukundra Tiger Reserves are the ones that will be kept open this monsoon season. The decision was taken at a recent meeting of the standing committee of the State Board of Wildlife and the Tiger Conservation Federation.
The national parks in the state, which are usually closed between July 1 and September 30, will be thrown open to the public by the forest department. Ranthambore, Sariska and Mukundra tiger reserves are the ones that will be kept open this monsoon season. The decision was taken at a recent meeting of the standing committee of the State Board of Wildlife (SBWL) and the Tiger Conservation Foundation (TCF).
However, the onus of taking appropriate steps to implement the order with due attention to NTCA’s concerns, has been left to respective field directors. In a letter to Tiger Range States, NTCA had approved the closure of all tiger reserves as per the recommendations of the technical committee for a minimum period of three months. The NTCA had cited a few reasons for shutting the national parks for tourists during monsoons in 2006, a practice which continues till date. According to NTCA, forests rejuvenate during monsoon, which was also the breeding time for tigers. Besides, the mud tracks become slushy with rains and the possibility of safari vehicles getting stuck in the slush was greater, posing a safety risk for tourists.
During the last monsoon, Ranthambore Tiger Reserve (RTR) had thrown open zones 6 to 10 for the public, where chances of tiger sightings were almost zero. But in a year, these have become popular zones of the critical tiger habitat, with reports good sightings of the big cat. “Tigers breed during all 12 months of a year. Some jungle tracks become slushy, but most of the terrain in the park is dry . Besides, opening the zones to tourism helped to check illegal grazing, cutting of forest, and other illegal activities during the monsoon as well as to monitor the movement of tigers,” wildlife experts said.
Zones in these parks will be kept open on a rotational basis for three months around the year, wherein each zone would be closed for three months. During monsoons, some zones will be opened for tourism depending on the critical circumstances, condition of roads and keeping in mind the safety of tourists. Wildlife enthusiasts can have a fantastic opportunity to explore wildlife amidst the rains. Thou in case of heavy rains in the area, the Forest department has the right to close safari zone’s and cancel safari’s without any prior notice.