The big cat walked across two states for five months.
A male tiger (TWLS-T1-C1) on Monday reached Dnyanganga Sanctuary in Buldana district covering a distance of 1,300 kilometres across Maharashtra and Telangana in a span of about five months, after he left the Tipeshwar Wildlife Sanctuary in Yavatmal district in June 2019.
Both Tipeshwar and Dnyanaganga are in Maharashtra. T1-C1 was born in Tipeshwar to resident female tiger T1 somewhere in late 2016 and the cub along with his two male siblings C2 and C3 were separated from the mother during early 2019.
As a part of long-term tiger monitoring and dispersal studies undertaken by Maharashtra forest department in collaboration with Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun, T1-C1 was radio-collared on February 27, 2019 by the team of WII.
The purpose of the study was to monitor the dispersal pattern of the sub-adults which are normally in the process of exploring new areas to set up their territory. After initial movements inside Tipeshwar, C3 and C1 started exploring the adjoining Pandharkawda division, which borders the Telangana area.
The tiger, which crossed hundreds of villages, agricultural fields and habitations in six districts in two states, did not enter into any conflict with humans except the cattle kills that he made for survival and an isolated avoidable incidence of human attack when the villagers approached very close to the tiger in Hingoli district.
The movement of the tiger all across the landscape indicates that Tipeshwar is a potential source area and tigers need more space in the landscape and tigers may have to cover much longer distances and cross the human-dominated, non-forested landscapes in the pursuit of its new territory and the mates, much beyond our traditional understanding, the study said.
This exercise further underlines the need for systematic, scientific and coordinated tiger monitoring at a landscape level irrespective of the state or district boundaries.