Hyena-wolf habitat at Chincholi is first dryland sanctuary in South

Hyena-wolf habitat at Chincholi is first dryland sanctuary in South

The Karnataka State Forest Department notifying the forest on November 28, marking another step by Karnataka to conserve prime wolf and hyena habitat of Chincholi forest spread across Gulbarga and Yadgir district in the Karnataka. It will be named as the ‘Chincholi Wildlife Sanctuary.’

The forest department has issued a notification exercising its power under Section 26 A (b) of Wildlife Protection Act 1972. The forest adjoining the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, according to the notification, is necessary to be protected as wildlife sanctuary as the forest, due to its unique features, deserves to be defined as ecologically sensitive area.

In addition, the area, with economically important tree species and the region being vulnerable even to mild disturbances, requires careful management and is considered as ‘ecologically and economically important.’

Explaining the biological richness of this forest patch, which is  potentially of high value to society, the notification states that this region, with natural forest cover, has about 0.40 per cent of canopy cover and is the only area in the Hyderabad-Karnataka region with many features of the Western Ghats.

Pointing that it is the duty of Karnataka to protect the precious and irreplaceable unique wealth given by Nature, the notification issued by the Department of Forest Ecology and Environment says, “Due to biotic and climatic intervention, there is threat of degradation of rich natural forest and may cause threat to the wildlife of the area.”

Five blocks

Accordingly, the 13,488.31 hectare area (ha) or (134.88 sq km area) of the sanctuary will have five blocks, the Chincholi forest block comprising of 11,985.62 ha, Sangapura forest block comprising of 688.39 ha, Bhonsapur forest block comprising of 317.59 ha, Magdumpur forest block comprising of 327.67 ha and Shadipur forest block comprising of 169.04 ha. The sanctuary shall not include any of the revenue villages, patta land, revenue lands as on the date of publication of notification dated November 28, 2011.

It can be recalled that the Karnataka State Wildlife Advisory Board, led by Vice-President Anil Kumble, in April 2011, had conducted a public hearing at Konchavaram village, within the forest area, to declare the Chincholi forest a wildlife Sanctuary.

The forest has good dry, deciduous and moist deciduous forest in the core with acacia and teak plantations on the fringes. Apart from the large Chandrampalli dam, four small dams too exist at its centre. The forest hosts rich biodiversity.

With the human density of 121 per sq km and a village for every 12 km, the region has 30 lambani thandas relying on forests for a living. Apart from the rich medicinal herbs and trees, species like red sanders and sandalwood have been found abundantly.

Floral species like Anogessus Latifolia, Chloroxylon, Bosweellia Serrat and Madhuca Indica are available in plenty over here.

The forest is also home to fauna like black buck, common fox, four-horned antelope,  fruit bat, hyena, Indian wolf, panther and wild boar. Over 35 species of birds, including black drongo, black-winged kite, blossom-headed parakeet, blue pigeon, black-headed oriole and grey patridge are also found in the region.

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