Union Government declares area around Mudumalai Tiger Reserve as an Eco-Sensitive Zone

On July 6, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) declared the 438 sq. km. of area around Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) as an Eco-Sensitive Zone (ESZ). The move will prohibit construction and commercial mining activities and restrict hotels and resorts near the reserve in the Nilgiris, Tamil Nadu. The area supports an ecologically sustainable habitat in the Western Ghats landscape for about 60-65 tigers, 600 to 800 Asian elephants and gaur apart from other animals of significance. This reserve harbours 227 species of birds, 50 species of fish, 21 species of amphibians and 34 species of reptiles. The reserve, comprising the wildlife sanctuary and the national park, extending over an area of 321 sq. km, was declared a core/critical tiger habitat in 2007. The reserve is a critical part of the Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve spread over 5,500 sq. km.

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