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UP to have new elephant reserve soon: Officials

Lakhimpur Kheri (UP), Oct 22 (PTI) Uttar Pradesh is all set to have a new elephant reserve soon.

The Union Ministry of Forest and Environment (MoFE) has given its nod to the Terai Elephant Reserve (TER), which will be set up over a 3,049.39-square kilometre area, including the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve (DTR) and the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR), Ramesh Pandey, Director of Project Elephant and Inspector General, Forests in the MoFE, told PTI on Saturday.

The Union ministry’s nod for the TER was given on Friday, he said, adding that the Uttar Pradesh government is expected to issue a final notification in this regard soon.

Pandey had convened a meeting with DTR officials and accorded an in-principle consent for the TER in March. He had called for a detailed proposal from the state government.

DTR Field Director Sanjay Pathak said the proposal was prepared in April and forwarded to the Centre on October 11.

With the TER coming into existence, the DTR would be the lone national park in Uttar Pradesh that would protect and conserve four iconic wild species — tiger, one-horned rhinoceros, the Asian elephant and swamp deer.

Besides the Dudhwa and Pilibhit tiger reserves, the elephant reserve would comprise forest areas of the Kishanpur Wildlife Sanctuary (KWS), the Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary (KGWS), the Dudhwa buffer zone and parts of the South Kheri forest division, Pandey said.

“The establishment of the Terai Elephant Reserve will be a milestone in terms of wildlife conservation, particularly of the Asian elephants, as it is located on the India-Nepal border, where trans-border movement of elephants is a routine,” he said.

“The Centre would provide all financial and technical assistance under the Project Elephant, which would help handle human-elephant conflicts,” Pandey added.

Pathak told PTI that the “establishment of the elephant reserve in Dudhwa would help adopt an elephant-centric approach towards their conservation”.

“Also, the financial and technical aid received under the Project Elephant would be utilised in managing Dudhwa’s camp elephants,” he said, adding that “with the Terai Elephant Reserve, incidents of man-elephant conflicts, which are presently state-dependent, would be handled more effectively”.

The DTR has attracted wild elephants for decades through various domestic and trans-border corridors, including Basanta-Dudhwa, Laljhadi (Nepal)-Sathiyana and the Shuklafanta (Nepal)-Dhaka-Pilibhit-Dudhwa buffer zone corridor.   “The Terai Elephant Reserve under the Project Elephant would help revive or restore these corridors, which have been left disturbed,” Pathak said. PTI COR SAB RC

This report is auto-generated from PTI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

Source: The Print

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