Maharashtra Government has declared a 29.53 sq km area in Tillari in the Sindhudurg district as a “Conservation Reserve" in view of its ecological, faunal, and floral significance. The government today issued a notification under section 36-A of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray has directed the Department of Forest to submit a proposal on a priority basis for the protection of forest and wildlife and for the promotion of eco-tourism and in turn job creation there. He announced that the state government will establish a committee for the management of the Tillari Conservation Reserve.
With Tillari, there are now 62 Conservation Reserves in the state. Out of these 62, 13 are in the Western Ghats. Tillari Conservation Reserve is situated at the borders of Maharashtra, Goa, and Karnataka and fall in the route used by tigers to disperse, along with Mhadei sanctuary in Goa and Bhimgad sanctuary in Karnataka.
The Madhav Gadgil panel (The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel) had recommended that 94-97% area of the Western Ghats should be considered as eco-sensitive. Hence, any developmental activity should be given a green signal on the grounds that it would not disturb the lifestyle and ecology of the region. On the other hand, the Kasturirangan committee had stated that only 34-37% area in the entire Western Ghats was eco-sensitive.
The Department of Forest Officer told FPJ, ‘’ Conservation reserves are areas which typically act as buffer zones to migration corridors between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and reserved and protected forests of India."
"Such areas are designated as conservation areas if they are uninhabited. These protected area categories were first introduced in the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act of 2002 − The Amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. These categories were added because of reduced protection in and around existing or proposed protected areas due to private ownership of land, and land use," he added.