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India creates 269-sq-km Kanhargaon Wildlife Sanctuary

The Maharashtra revenue and forest department on Monday notified the Kanhargaon Wildlife Sanctuary, which will be spread over 269 square kilometres in Chandrapur district. This takes the state’s total tally of wildlife sanctuaries to 50. The move comes eight years after the proposal was first tabled in April 2013, with officials attributing the delay largely due to resistance from the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra, which had large-scale logging operations in the area.

The move to notify the area as WLS under the Wildlife Protection Act (1972) — which received the chief minister’s assent during a meeting of the state wildlife board in December 2020 — will enhance protection for the area’s tiger population (20 tigers including cubs), and also give legal sanctity to this key wildlife habitat falling in the tiger corridor between Tadoba tiger reserve in Chandrapur and the Kawal wildlife sanctuary in Telangana’s Mancherial district.

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