Situated in heart of India Madhya Pradesh (MP) is well known for its magnificent tiger reserves. With large forest cover still present the wilderness is being conserved in the protected areas. Most of these are critical
tiger habitats with abundant prey base survives in biodiversity rich environment. But the fast shrinking habitats in the state is a cause for alarm. The protected areas are not enough a larger contiguous forest cover is required. This can be achieved by creating
corridors and through re-plantation.
In protected areas complete relocation has not taken place especially in wildlife sanctuaries. There is lot of hesitancy in conducting this exercise due to public pressure and political interference. Funds have been
allocated to major protected areas but lesser known and remote wildlife sanctuaries have been devoid. The state has immense capacity to hold much more big cats than at present. But this would require more areas to be developed on the lines of Kuno Palpur.
Typical Central Indian wildlife constitutes tiger, leopard, gaur, sloth bear, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, four horned deer, Indian Gazelle, jungle cat, wild boar, wild dog, Nilgai, Hanuman Gray Langur and Rehsus
Macaque. The rare animals like Hard Ground Barasingha now find hold only at Kanha National Park. Recently mouse deer has been sighted at Kanha National Park while rusty spotted cat was sighted at Bandhavgarh. Indian Tree Shrew as been spotted in Barha Forests
of Jabalpur all are in MP. The status of hyena and wolf is in complete darkness. There is a need to accord greater protection to the buffer zone which suffers from indiscriminate resource utilization.
The major tiger reserves in MP have recently seen a decline is tiger population due to poaching. Panna tragedy has alarmed conservationists and their faith in administrative capacity of the sentinels has dipped low.
Nevertheless tourism is growing in these reserves which is a big boon. Apart from acting has vigilance group tourists visiting these places learn about our nature and its importance. Tourism also sustains local communities with jobs and services. The tiger
reserves draw substantial revenue from tourists that arrive from far and wide.
The major revenue earners are:
Kanha Tiger Reserve
Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve
Pench Tiger Reserve
Satpura Tiger Reserve
With introduction of tigers from other parks Panna too is coming back to life. Lesser known wildlife sanctuaries like Nuaradehi and Bori find local visitors. Setting up of proper tourism infrastructure will receive
rich dividend via tourist income and will be subjected to greater attention hence protection. Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary near Jabalpur is slated for Cheetah Relocation in Central India.
Though looked by many wildlife tourism in MP has been fruitful in every way. This has been possible due to controlled tourism by the authorities. Opening up and developing new protected areas for
tourism will result in pressure coming off the major reserves. This will also accord greater protection to neglected animals like the wolf and hyena. Nauradehi has substantial wolf population besides the sloth bear, chinkara, Nilgai and fox.