ST correspondent

Mumbai: In what comes as a major boost to the wildlife conservation programme, the Maharashtra Government has issued a notification for the Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve (NNTR). 
This is the fifth Tiger Reserve of Maharashtra after Melghat, Tadoba, Pench and Sahyadri. The notification was issued on December 12, 2013.

The 656.36 sq km reserve comprises Navegaon National Park (129.55 sq km), Navegaon Wildlife Sanctuary (122.75 sq km), Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary (152.58 sq km), New Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary (151.33 sq km) and newly-created Koka Wildlife Sanctuary (100 sq km).

An expert committee under the chairmanship of then Chief Wildlife Warden of Maharashtra S.W.H.Naqvi which includes wildlife experts Kishor Rithe, V.B.Sawarkar, Prafulla Bhambhurkar and Dr.R.J.Andrews on September 7, 2013, had submitted a report and recommended on the basis of scientific and objective criteria that an area of 653.67 sq km of reserve forest should be notified as core or critical tiger habitat(CTH) and kept inviolate for purposes of tiger conservation.

On the recommendation of this expert committee , the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), gave its approval on November 21, 2013.

"We congratulate the Government of Maharashtra specially the Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and Forest Minister Dr Patangrao Kadam who supported this area and proposal. The declaration of the Tiger Reserve will also help put this part of Vidarbha region on the world map and help its economic development,” said the President of the Satpuda Foundation and one of the members of the expert committee, which recommended this proposal.

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