Wildlife enthusiasts have a reason to rejoice. Making an upturn is the state’s only black buck sanctuary Karanja-Sohal, for the black bucks are finding their way back into their lost home.
The sanctuary is spread over 18.321 sq.km in the Washim district and has been particularly set up for black bucks. Also known as the Indian Antelopes, the black bucks are listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The sanctuary went operational from December 2000. However, due to inefficient management of the following lot of officials, the black bucks started wandering off from their shelter pad and came into conflict with farmers for damaging crops in the area.
Shree Bhagwan, the then chief wildlife warden had set up a committee of five-member in 2016 to reclaim the lost glory of the sanctuary. The committee was set up under APCCF Nandkishore. Other members included Kishor Rithe, chief of Satpuda Foundation, grassland management expert GD Muratkar, honorary wildlife warden of Akola and CCF of Yavatmal Circle was member-secretary.
On the committee’s first visit on March 15, 2016, they discovered the basic problem of the sanctuary was that the grasses the bucks fed on had disappeared which led to the animals’ wandering off and turning to feed on the crops. The committee also spoke to the farmers of these crops.
The experts advised the forest officials to grow enough grass every season to prevent the bucks from moving out. On 29th July 2017, the committee revisited the sanctuary to review the work.
"As the grass species have been grown scientifically by the foresters, most of the herbivore population has returned to the sanctuary," said Rithe, one of the committee members.
"We also talked to the affected farmers who admitted the problem had been resolved to a large extent. The steps taken to restore habitat needs to continue," Rithe added.
Information source: timesofindia
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