Indian Couple Buy Land Near Tiger Reserve To Allow Forests To Grow Back
For the past 20 years, one couple in India has been buying plots of land next to a tiger reserve in order to let the forest around it grow back.
Photographer Aditya Singh quit his civil services job two decades ago and moved to Sawai Madhopur city in Rajasthan with his wife, Poonam Singh, to be closer to nature.
In the years since, they have bought approximately 35 acres of land near the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve so they could leave it undisturbed.
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The land, which was once barren and with limited vegetation, is now a ‘lush green’ forest that is frequented by wild animals – including tigers – throughout the year.
The area is called Bhadlav, with Aditya telling Mongabay India he was able to buy the plots of land because they were frequented by predators, leading many farmers to sell their land.
I just bought this and did nothing to it except removing the invasive species. We allowed the land to recover and now after 20 years it has become a lush green patch of forest which is frequently visited by all kind of animals, including tigers, leopards and wild boars.
In an aerial shot of the land, the green land of the forest contrasts massively to the barren land of the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve, which shares a boundary with the photographer and his wife’s land.
The couple also created several water holes within the landholding to ensure wild animals are able to get water, even during long, hot summers.
As a result, the threat of tigers from the Ranthambore Tiger Reserve venturing into fields owned by farmers has been greatly reduced. ‘It is simply because the animals understand that in this patch of the forest they get prey, water and safe shelter without any disturbance,’ Aditya explained.
They have been approached by buyers for the land many times, but Aditya and Poonam have always turned them down because of their love for nature and wildlife, with the couple saying: ‘Money was never the consideration. It is just about my love for nature and wildlife.’
Instead, Aditya and Poonam have inspired others who own land around theirs to follow suit, with Aditya ‘getting queries from people across India who want to replicate a similar model in their state’.
What an incredible story, hats off to Aditya and Poonam for protecting nature in this way.
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CreditsMongabay India/YouTube and 1 other