Tiger which migrated from Uttarakhand’s Rajaji reserve found in Himachal Pradesh

A tiger that migrated from the Rajaji Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand has been tracked in the Renuka forests of neighbouring Himachal Pradesh, officials said on Friday.

It was a long-distance migration that saw the tiger cover hundreds of kilometres through Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, Rajaji Tiger Reserve Director Saket Badola told PTI.

Images recorded in camera traps suggest the tiger migrated from the Rajaji Tiger Reserve in October last year.

From the Gohri or Chilla range of the RTR, it first came to the reserve's Motichoor range by crossing the Ganga river. It was reported to be in the Simbalwada Wildlife Sanctuary of Paonta-Renuka in February.

In May, it was reported in the Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary in Haryana, Badola said.

Now, the tiger has been spotted in the Renuka forests of Himachal Pradesh where it arrived in the middle of August, the official said.

Camera traps have recorded the animal's presence in the Renuka forests, he said, quoting the conservator of the Renuka forest circle.

The tiger's return to the forests in Himachal Pradesh shows it is on its way back to its previous habitat in the RTR, Badola said.

The forest officials of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana and Himachal Pradesh worked in close coordination to track the tiger on the directive of the National Tiger Conservation Authority, he said.

However, it is not clear whether the tiger had lost its way or made a migration of hundreds of kilometres in search of a new habitat for itself.

The long-distance migration undertaken by the tiger through four states and its safe return shows its genetic superiority, the RTR director said.

The tendency among male tigers to make long-distance migrations in search of a new habitat is a well-documented fact, Badola added.

"If they find the new habitat secure from human interference and fit on other survival parameters with adequate availability of food and water there, they embrace it or else make a retreat to their previous habitat," he said.

The long and uninterrupted migration of the tiger through Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh and Haryana also indicates that the corridor used by the big cat for its passage through the four states is alive, Badola said.

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