Fire destroys flora and fauna

Smoke billowing out of the fire that is raging on the Doddahotte Ranganathaswamy hill in Santhenahalli near Holalkere in Chitradurga district. DH photo

The fire has been raging for some days now, and it has claimed numerous birds and animals such as deer, bears, wild boars, wolves, foxes, rabbits and hares, wild cats and countless reptiles.

Trees lost

Also gutted were hundreds of trees - teak, cashew, honne, deodar and sandalwood - as well as unique fruit-bearing trees.

The hill, part of an extensive range of hills that are spread over the area between Holalkere and Hosadurga, is home to some unique species of flora.

The hill, rich in grass is foraging ground for sheep. During summer, the grass dries up and makes movement difficult for shepherds and they tend to burn the dry grass. Such burning is also believed to encourge of new, healthy grass. Sometimes, fires are lit by mischievous elements.

But such attempts to burn grass by shepherds, villagers and mischief mongers has often led to destruction of flora and fauna on the hill.

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