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Male Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary comes into being

Chamarajanagar, K H Obalesh, May 17, 2013, DHNS:

The move will prevent people from encroaching the forest land

The areas comprising Male Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary is estimated to have significant population of wild elephants. DH Photo

One more wildlife sanctuary will dot Karnataka which already has 22 wildlife sanctuaries.

The State government has officially declared a part of the Kollegala Range Forest as Male Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary. Off the 1,224 sqkm of the Range forest, 906.18 sqkm (90,618.75 hectares) has been declared as sanctuary.

A decision in this regard was taken during the fifth meeting of the Karnataka Wildlife Board held on December 15, 2012.


The then chief minister Jagadish Shettar, who presided over the meeting, had given green signal to grant the status.

The declaration has been effected under Section 26A (I) (B) of the Wildlife Conservation Act ,1972, (Amendment 2006) on May 7, 2013.

The declaration has been welcomed by the NGOs and greens who had persistently demanded sanctuary status to the forest.

Further, it will provide an impetus to the conservation of wildlife in the area which was not possible earlier, due to many hurdles.

Check on encroachment


The move will also keep vested interests at bay, who were eyeing the land, from encroaching them on the pretext of development. Interestingly, the newly carved sanctuary borders both Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and BRT Tiger Reserve Forest in the district. The famed Bandipur National Park is also in the district.

Recently, the Forest officials and residents reportedly spotted tigers in the area. 
It can be recalled that in September 2012, the forest officials found remains of a tiger that had died naturally near Udutore Halla in Hanur range of the forest.

Further, the region also has a high density of wild elephants. Hence, declaration of new wildlife sanctuary will be a boon for both tiger and elephant conservation.

Census

The area comprising Male Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, according to the 2010 Elephant Census, is estimated to have 589 wild elephants. The Yedeyarahalli—Doddasampige Elephant Corridor also falls in the Sanctuary.

“The sanctuary status will help in better conservation and monitoring of wildlife. This will also boost the tiger and elephant reserve forest area,” Chamarajanagar Circle Chief Conservator of Forest Dileep Kumar Das told Deccan Herald.

In the erstwhile Kollegala Range Forest, 11 anti-poaching camps had been established while it was 18 in Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary, said Das who added that special attention will be given to conservation using funds and staff.

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