Bhopal: Like Bandhavgarh, there is movement of several tigers in the same territory around Bhopal. But as a number of tigresses are also present, there is no territorial fight among male big cats. There are 18 big cats around Bhopal out of which 10 are tigresses.
Actually, Bhopal’s forest is spread over an area of 437 sq km. Of this, the forest of 150 sq km area is dense. There are sufficient herbivore animals here for the tigers to feed on and they are being preyed upon by the tigers regularly. Wildlife experts are considering this change in the behavior of tigers as ecological adaptation. Significantly, the number of tigers has increased from 2 to 18 in the last 10 years near Bhopal.
The tigers were counted in different phases in the year 2018 in March – April. More than 18 tigers have been found among the 45 beats of Bhopal forest division. Two-four tigresses have a territory in the midst of the tigers’ territory. Due to their nature, the tigress does not leave her territory and move in another tigress’s territory. Apart from this, 4 tigresses can remain in the territory of one tiger. Due to this, even though the size of the forest in and around Bhopal is small, there is no territorial fight among the tigers here.
There are fights for jurisdiction when there is shortage of prey animals: Wildlife expert Dr. Sudesh Vaghmare says that the fight for jurisdiction happens over better hunting area. Prey animals like deer, blue bull, wild pig etc abound in forests around Bhopal so there is no fight for supremacy here. The tigers roaming in Bhopal are residential. They were born here. They are offsprings of the same mother, so their movement continues here.
At the same time, Delhi’s wildlife expert Dr. Fayyaz Khudsar, who studies the nature of tigers, says that tigers are living in harmony rather than fighting as they have adapted to the local environment.
Evidence of growing population: Chief Conservator of Bhopal Forest Circle SP Tiwari said that during tiger census, there is evidence of tiger population growing in Bhopal. A documentary has also been made on this basis. A few tigresses have given birth to cubs, which is not included in the tiger census. He told that tigresses outnumber tigers in and around forest areas of Bhopal-Sehore.
As per reports of the recent National Tiger Estimation 2018, the population of tigers has increased at a faster pace in non-protected areas of Madhya Pradesh in comparison to protected areas. Tigers have been spotted in areas where there were no records of big cat’s presence during census 2014.