Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve Current Affairs - 2019
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A major fire has broken out in the Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National Park in Chamarajanagar District of Karnataka. Hundreds of acres of forest area have been destroyed in the fire and the fire has even spread to the core area.
Due to the fire at the core area, huge damage and loss to the wildlife are expected. The strong winds are further causing a hindrance in controlling the fire.
Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National Park
Bandipur Tiger Reserve and National Park spread over an area of about 874.2 sq km is situated in the Chamarajanagar District of Karnataka. The National Park forms part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.
Originally the Maharaja of Mysore created a sanctuary of 90 km2 (35 sq mi) in 1931 and named it the Venugopala Wildlife Park. Later in the year 1973 Came into existence with an addition of nearly 800 km2 (310 sq mi) to the Venugopala Wildlife Park.
The Bandipur National Park is surrounded by the river Kabini in the north, River Moyar in the south and the River Nugu runs through the park. The Gopalaswamy Betta which is a Hindu pilgrimage centre and it also forms part of the National Park. the park has a variety of biomes including dry deciduous forests, moist deciduous forests and shrublands.
A photographer named Nilanjan Ray is believed to have spotted a rare ‘white tiger’ with a pale skin colour for the first time in the Nilgiris. The discovery has aroused interest among conservationists and forest officials. It is yet to be ascertained whether the white tiger is a true genetic mutant.
The tiger which was spotted in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve does not seem to be albino and was found to be whitish with golden brown patches. As per the scientists, genetic mutation among tigers changes an amino acid responsible for the normal colour being formed, resulting in “natural polymorphism”. According to the scientists, white tigers lack pheomelanin, which is responsible for the red-yellow hue in the skin coat.
In India, white tigers are predominantly found in Rewa, Madhya Pradesh. In 2016, world’s first White Tiger Safari was inaugurated at Mukundpur in Satna district of Madhya Pradesh.
The first white tiger in Madhya Pradesh’s was spotted in Vindhya region in 1915. However, the rare breed of the big cat spotted for the first time died in 1920. In 1951, a white tiger cub named Mohan was captured by Rewa Maharaja Martand Singh. Later the tiger cub became the progenitor of all known white tigers in the world after the Maharaja arranged for its breeding.
White tigers in India are nothing but a pigmentation variant of the Bengal tiger. They have been reported in the wild from time to time in the Indian states of Assam, West Bengal, Bihar. These tigers have white fur because of the lack of the pigment pheomelanin, which is found in Bengal tigers with orange colour fur.