Opportunities of Habitat Connectivity for Tiger (Panthera tigris) between Pench Tiger Reserve and Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, India

  • Rohan Balaram Bhagat University of Mumbai
  • Sanjay Karkare
  • Saurabh Dande
  • Gaurav Kadu
Keywords: Connectivity, Panthera tigris, Central India, movement pattern, fragmentation, corridor


Habitat connectivity is essential in sustaining regional populations of Tiger (Panthera tigris), as they require contiguous forest connectivity for dispersal and genetic exchange between populations. An important conservation tool for these carnivores has been to understand connectivity of these fragmented habitats that have helped to identify critical threats to the existing populations. Wildlife corridors have long been a subject of discussion amongst wildlife biologists and conservationists with contrasting schools of thought arguing their merits and demerits. However, it is largely believed that wildlife corridors can help minimize genetic isolation, offset fragmentation problems, improves animal dispersal, restore ecological processes and reduce man animal conflict. This study attempted to evaluate the possibilities of identifying a suitable wildlife corridor between two very important wildlife areas of central India – Pench Tiger Reserve and Navegaon-Nagzira Tiger Reserve – with tiger as the focal species. Geographic information system (GIS), information collected from Forest Department and Local communities was used to identify likely routes for movement of tigers. Results indicate the movement pattern of tiger in the fragmented landscape on the basis of indirect signs and secondary information. It was also found that the potential corridor in fragmented area which is different from corridor marked by the forest department. Resultant maps, displaying bottle necks and weak points in the corridors, are marked to direct field-based research and conservation efforts. Field assessment and refinement of the corridors is ongoing. The establishment and proper management of linkages between the habitats is of great importance for future survival of tigers.

Author Biography

Rohan Balaram Bhagat, University of Mumbai
Conservation Department,Scientist A


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Original Article