27 Jan 2024

Madhya Pradesh: Kanha Tiger Reserve Shifts Focus to Assam for Wild Buffalo Acquisition

Faced with obstacles in obtaining wild buffaloes from Chhattisgarh's Indravati Tiger Reserve, primarily due to the Naxal issue and other challenges, officials at Madhya Pradesh's Kanha Tiger Reserve (KTR) are now turning their attention to Assam as a potential source.

In the event of Assam's approval, Kanha aims to import up to 30 wild buffaloes from the state, marking a significant milestone for Madhya Pradesh, where no national park or reserve currently houses these animals. 

Kanha would become state's first reserve to host wild buffaloes 

Kanha Tiger Reserve would become the state's first reserve to host wild buffaloes if the project gains approval. KTR officials are eyeing the possibility of obtaining wild buffaloes from Manas Park and Kaziranga National Park in Assam, known for their substantial wild buffalo populations.

WII study found Kanha suitable for wild buffaloes

A senior official from the reserve informed that the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) conducted a feasibility study. It found Kanha suitable for the rehabilitation of wild buffaloes. Specific regions in Balaghat and Mandla were identified as suitable habitats for these animals. The study even suggested the historical presence of wild buffaloes in the Kanha region.

The study report has been submitted to Aseem Shrivastava, the Madhya Pradesh's Principal Chief Conservator of Forest Wildlife.

Attempts to procure wild buffaloes from Chhattisgarh didn't materialize

Earlier attempts by Kanha Tiger Reserve to procure wild buffaloes from Chhattisgarh's Indravati Tiger Reserve faced challenges, including the Naxalite insurgency, limited buffalo population, and a lack of response from Chhattisgarh reserve officials. 

Consequently, Kanha officials are now optimistic about the prospects in Assam, banking on the Wildlife Institute of India's positive findings and recommendations.

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