The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) on 21 April 2015 accorded final approval to Rajaji National Park, Uttarakhand as India's 48th Tiger Reserve. With this notification, Uttarakhand got its second tiger reserve after the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
The notification was announced by Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat while releasing logo of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve.
The Rajaji National Park that came into existence in 1983 is spread across three districts of Uttarakhand namely Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal in an area over 820 square km.
The park is a home to 315 bird species, 40 species of reptiles and fish and 400 Asian elephants.
The park was named after the last Governor-General of independent India, C Rajagopalachari, popularly known as Rajaji. C. Rajagopalachari was one of the first recipients of India's highest civilian award Bharat Ratna in 1954.
Uttarakhand is a state that has the second highest tiger population in the country after Karnataka. Tigers are present in the state in the Chilla and Dhaulkhand ranges of the Rajaji National Park. The park encompasses the Shivaliks near the foothills of the Himalayas.
Besides this, the Union government also decided to form three new tiger reserves namely Ratapani in Madhya Pradesh, Sunabeda in Odisha and Guru Ghasidas in Chhattisgarh. These parks have received an in-principle approval by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for creation of reserves.
The decision was made soon after the tiger census in January 2015 showed an overall rise in numbers of the big cat.
Apart from this, NTCA also gave final approval to a proposal to declare Kudremukh National Park in Karnataka as tiger reserves.
State governments have been asked to send conservation proposals to provide more protected spaces for the endangered species in different areas like Suhelwa in Uttar Pradesh, Mhadei in Goa, Srivilliputtur Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary/ Meghamalai Wildlife Sanctuary/ Varushanadu Valley in Tamil Nadu, Dibang in Arunachal Pradesh and Cauvery-MM Hills in Karnataka.
Who: Rajaji National Park
When: 21 April 2015