Wild animals stray into villages in search of water

Crisis severe in monoculture plantations as they don't absorb rainwater; percolation tanks dry up

Wild animals stray into villages in search of water

 Incidents of wild animals straying into human habitation for drinking water are rising in various parts of Shivamogga district as water sources in the forest region have almost dried up.

While humans are fortunate enough to get potable water through tankers or from borewells, animals have no other option than going in search of water sources in villages close to the forest region.

Mohan Gangolli, Deputy Conservator of Forests, Sagar division, admitted that the wild animals in general and bisons in particular are coming to water sources situated in and around Kugwe, Ikkeri and Lal Bahadur Shastri college in Sagar to quench their thirst.

The Forest department had constructed percolation tanks and trenches in the forest to ensure that the animals get potable water without fail. But they have almost dried up following the deficit rainfall last year. This has prompted animals to stray into human habitat for water, he explained.

Agumbe no exception

Agumbe, which was once called Cherrapunji of South India, is no exception in this regard. The region, which is part of Western Ghats, used to receive the highest rainfall in the state. Over the last 10 years, Hulikal in Hosanagar taluk is far ahead of Agumbe in terms of rainfall.

However, Agumbe is still one of the few places in the state that receive good rainfall. As the tanks in their habitat are dried up, bisons, deer, wild boars, stag deer, wild dogs are marching towards villages for water. Carnivores are relying on the backwaters of River Varahi.

Environmentalist and former member of Western Ghats Task Force B M Kumaraswamy said that water crisis for wild animals is severe in areas where monoculture plantations have been developed as they don’t absorb rainwater at all. They contribute to evapotranspiration. Some people are projecting it as forest. But in reality, it is nothing but a green desert. Hence, animals in Agumbe-Someshwara region are facing a water crisis. The incidents of animals straying in to villages close to forest region were reported at Antaragange region in Bhadravathi taluk and also in Shikaripur taluk, the Forest department said. 

Siva Sankar, Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife), Shivamogga Circle:
We may have to supply water to the trenches and percolation tanks in the forest region through tankers. But practically, it is an uphill task. Let us hope that the region receives rains and quenches the thirst of the animals.


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