Mumbai: The thick forests of Tillari in Maharashtra's Sindhudurg, home to tigers, leopards, elephants and many other animals, is now accorded the status of a 'conservation reserve'.
Located in the Dogamark tehsil of Sindhudurg district, Tillari connects the Radhanagari Wildlife Sanctuary in Kolhapur with Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary in Belgaum, Karnataka.
"This will go a long way in our conservation efforts," said Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, himself an ace wildlife and aerial photographer, of his commitment made in February.
He has directed the concerned departments to prepare an eco-tourism proposal for the region -- which is Sindhudurg's first conservation reserve -- on priority.
Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray expressed his gratitude to the Chief Minister Thackrey and Forest Minister Sanjay Rathod for the decision, which will make it the 13th such conservation reserve in the Western Ghats, out of the total 62 in Maharashtra.
"The state has declared the establishment of Tillari Conservation Reserve. This 29.53 sq. km adds a small pug-mark in the effort to protect the wildlife, biodiversity and tiger," said Aditya Thackeray.
Conservation areas are essentially protected pockets that act as buffer zones or migration routes between established national parks, wildlife sanctuaries, reserves and protected forests in the country.
Tillari has a breeding population of tigers and is a crucial corridor for the Sahyadri Tiger Reserve and Radhanagari, besides elephants which move here from Kanataka's Anshi National Park, known as the Kali Tiger Reserve, said wildlife expert Rohan Bhate.
In addition to elephants and the big cats, Tillari also houses a wide variety of deers, antelopes, bison, monkeys, wild boars, rich flora with several species of reptiles, birds and insects, many endemic to this region.