Expansion plans on the anvil for Periyar Tiger Reserve
Periyar tiger Reserve in Thekkady, Kerala is one of the best managed tiger reserves in India that needs no formal introduction as a popular tourist destination for nature enthusiasts. The rich bio diversity and wild life and the pristine beauty of the area, which spreads over an area of 777 sq km attracts scores of visitors to Thekkady. Now Periyar is all set to undergo a massive expansion which would make it a hot contender for the position of the best eco tourist spot in Kerala, a distinction held by Gavi in Munnar for long.
Under this plan, 148 Sq KM of forest land that extends up to the Kakki hydel project at the east and the Annathode colony to the North, which belongs to the Kerala forest development corporation will become part of the Periyar tiger reserve. With this the tiger reserve will have a total area of 925 sq. km , which will go a long way in the tiger conservation efforts as well. With this, Gavi and the pachakkanam areas also will become part of the reserve though the eco tourist spot of Gavi might be excluded from the reserve.
The expansion of Periyar Tiger reserve will give further impetus to the tiger conservation efforts to make it one of the most successful stories in nature conservation. As per the latest figures, only 3000 tigers are left in the wild and it is indeed a race gainst the clock. If we need to protect this magnificient beast we have to oput in our best NOW as there will never be a second chance!