Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Taking a cue from the tiger relocation programmes at Sariska National Park of Maharashtra and Panna National Park of Madhya Pradesh, Odisha forest department is all set to launch the ambitious project at Satkosia tiger reserve in Angul district to maintain bio-diversity in the major forest.

One male and a female tiger will be relocated to the core area of Satkosia forest in the first phase on a pilot basis. "We have planned to take forward the programme in Satkosia of Angul. In the first phase, two tigers will be brought from outside and introduced in Odisha forest," said Sandeep Tripathy, PCCF (wildlife).

A team of forest officials will visit Sariska and Panna National Parks to extract information on the programme that was a big success. The forest department will move National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) soon seeking permission, he added.

Satkosia has been chosen on a pilot basis as food will not be major problem for the big cats due to presence of large numbers of animals of different species.

"We have identified particular sites with proper habitat and prey for the tigers. If the programme yields fruitful results, it will be extended to other parts of the State. We are in constant touch with the authorities of other tiger reserves outside the State to bring more animals," Tripathy pointed out.

The programme aims at enhancing tiger population in Odisha and maintaining balance of the ecosystem for a sustainable environment, he said.