New Reserves and Wildlife Sanctuaries of Maharashtra: Key Highlights

12 new conservation reserves and 3 new wildlife sanctuaries have been approved recently by the Maharashtra State Board for Wildlife (MSBWL). The approvals were given with the aim of boosting the environment protection movement and the wildlife conservation movement. This project costs Rs 1,595 crore project and the Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC) will be undertaking it.

What is the total area of the new reserves and wildlife sanctuaries?

These protected areas (PAs) will be having a total area of about 1,000 sq km. Out of the total, the conservation reserves will be having an area of 692.74 sq km while the wildlife sanctuaries will be having an area of 303 sq km.

What are the 12 newly approved conservation reserves?

  • Alaldari and Chivatibavari in Dhule
  • Muragad, Kalwan, Igatpuri, and Triambakeshwar in Nashik
  • Roha and Raigad in Raigad district
  • Dare Khurd (Mahadare) in Satara
  • Bhor in Pune
  • Mogarkasa in Nagpur
  • Masai plateau in Kolhapur

To date, there were 15 conservation reserves in Maharashtra. After the approval of the 12 new reserves, the number will increase to 27.

What are the 3 new wildlife sanctuaries?

  • Kolamarka in Gadchiroli
  • Extension of the Lonar wildlife sanctuary
  • Muktai Bhawani in Jalgaon

Lonar wildlife sanctuary is hit by the presence of Left-wing extremists. In 2013, it was notified as a conservation reserve and it has endangered Asiatic Wild buffaloes.

Whose consent is required to notify new protected areas?

The consent of the wildlife board is required to notify new protected areas in the state. This has been declared in the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972.

How many national parks, sanctuaries, and conservation reserves are located in Maharashtra?

In Maharashtra there are:

  • 15 conservation reserves
  • 6 national parks,
  • 50 sanctuaries.

The state also has 6 tiger projects, named Pench, Melghat, Navegaon-Nagzira, Tadoba-Andhari, Sahyadri, and Bor. In the state, there are 312 tigers according to the ‘Status of Tigers in India, 2018’ report, published by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).

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