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The Latest And The Largest Heaven For Tigers in Madhya Pradesh 

With an expansive area covering over 2339 square kilometres, the Veerangana Durgawati Tiger Reserve is the largest tiger sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh. It has 1414 square kilometres core area and 925 Kms buffer area. It is the 54th forest area in the country to be declared a Tiger Reserve in September last year.
Indian Masterminds Stories

It might be the newest tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh but Veerangana Durgawati Tiger Reserve (VDTR) is the largest tiger sanctuary in the state. Its seventh tiger reserve of Madhya Pradesh, known to be the Tiger State of India. Maharashtra with six tiger reserves stands second. 

Veerangana Durgavati forest was declared as a Tiger Reserve in September last year. The tiger sanctuary included not only areas of Nauradehi in Sagar district but also a big part of Rani Durgavati Sanctuary in Damoh, making it the largest Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh. 

With an imposing area spanning across 2339 square kilometres, VDTR is the largest tiger reserve in Madhya Pradesh – Kanha with 2052 Kms and Bandhavgarh with 1537 Sq Kms follow suit. 

In an exclusive conversation with Indian Mastermindsthe DFO of the reserve, IFS officer Abdul Ansari, shared details about what all went into make VDTR the heaven of conservation.

REMOVING VILLAGE ENCROACHMENTS

In order to avoid man animal conflict in the region, the DFO and his team ordered the removal of a huge village settlement settled on the outskirts of the reserve, where the tigers would stray away at times. The villagers are now being relocated to new government settlements of Rs. 15 lakhs per unit.

“This was beneficial for both the parties as the villagers now moved away from living outside the forests to better facilities, thereby, increasing the tiger movement area. Our herbivorous population and meadows also increased because of this,” Mr. Abdul told Indian Masterminds.

PROTECTION AND CONSERVATION EFFORTS

Once the tigers were introduced in the Nauradehi wildlife sanctuary from Panna, it was declared that two new tiger reserves shall soon be established in Madhya Pradesh, which ultimately gave birth to Veerangana Durgavati Tiger Reserve in September 2023.

“Our catchment feeds both Narmada and Ganga River making it an ecologically important place. We have a large population of wolves as well, so large that prior to tigers coming back to the region, our reserve was popular for its wolves,” Mr. Ansari said.

ECOTOURISM AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Ecotourism serves as a valuable tool for generating revenue while promoting conservation goals. VDTR has embraced sustainable ecotourism practices that allow visitors to experience the beauty of the wilderness while minimizing their environmental impact.

Revenue generated from ecotourism activities is reinvested into conservation initiatives, thereby creating a self-sustaining cycle of conservation and economic development.

VDTR stands as a testament to the tireless efforts dedicated to the conservation and protection of tigers. Through a combination of habitat conservation, anti-poaching measures, community engagement, scientific research, and sustainable development practices, the reserve serves as a model for tiger conservation worldwide.


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