Forest Dept against lifting night traffic ban

Forest Dept against lifting night traffic ban

Presentation before HC stresses on protecting wildlife in Bandipur

Both the national highways pass through the Bandipur National Park (BNP). In a presentation before the High Court here on Friday, B J Hosmath, Field Director, Project Tiger, and Sanjay Gubbi, Member, State Wildlife Board submitted that the landscape comprising of Bandipur, Nagarhole,  Mudhumalai and Wyanad has the second largest tiger population in the country, and stressed the need for protection by creating a favourable atmosphere.

The presentation, as per the direction of the High Court in connection with the petitions filed by the Kerala State Transport Corporation and various other organisations challenging the ban on night traffic, said the region, hosting an estimated 300 tigers is the largest tiger density in about 2,500-sq km area.

Tiger density

Drawing comparison with the tiger density in Sikothalin national park in Russia, Bukitbarasan National park in Indonesia and Teman Nagara National Park in Malaysia, Gubbi said that it is not the large area which is needed to protect the endangered species, but proper monitoring of the habitat and the species like it is done in Bandipur and Nagarhole will be a key for conservation.

Mentioning the problem caused due to the traffic density, the department said that apart from the indirectly affecting the prey, the high beamed light during the night might affect the vision of the wildlife and might lead to shock which requires several days to recover.
Mentioning about various other threats associated with lifting of the vehicular movement ban, Gubbi said: “Losing even a single breeding tigress will have an impact on population of tigers in big manner.”

Not feassible

Responding to the proposal of convoy lead by Forest Department vehicle, he said that it is not a feasible project as the department is under-staffed and the proposal will lead to various complications.

Justice Gopalagowda and Justice B S Patil, who sat through the presentation along with forest officials, petitioners and advocates posted it for final hearing.