Bamboo clearing leaves Dandeli denuded

Large-scale felling is leading to deforestation, say wildlife activists

Bamboo clearing leaves Dandeli denuded

Human intervention: Widespread extraction of bamboo in the Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary, reputed as the largest sanctuary in Karnataka, is jeopardising food security of elephants and other animals in the region. DH Photo

The Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary is being denuded right under the directionof the forest officials, as bamboo is being cleared to a large extent. Bamboo is a major plant species in this region and itsfelling has amounted to large- scale deforestation.

According to wildlife experts, the Supreme Court had banned the removal of any kind of trees, dead trees, bamboo and even grass from wildlife sanctuaries and national parks, in the year 2000.

“Everyday nearly 25-30 lorry loads of bamboo are being extracted from the forests, which is in blatant violation of the Supreme Court directive. The authorities are not trying to stop the process, an indication of orders being issued by the top brass in the department,” said a local wildlife activist.

Illegal

Bamboo is being cleared from Paanjali, Vaagheli, Kuruvaade, Kukkare areas of Joida range in Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary. Moreover, workers are brought from Bellary, Belgaum and Gajendragad for this illegal activity.

According to wildlife experts, hundreds of animals and birds that are dependent on bamboo will be deprived of food with the destruction of the bamboo cover.

“Dandeli being one of the prime habitat of elephants, destruction of bamboo will have a serious impact on their habitat, further worsening the man-animal conflict in the region. On the one hand the State government claims  having reduced human-elephant conflict but on the other it is making the food source of elephants scarce,” observed a wildlife expert.

Protection of vegetation

Interestingly, the Dandeli area continues to remain under the control of Karwar territorial division despite being declared as a wildlife sanctuary in 2008. The vegetation can be protected if the area is transferred to the wildlife division. Hence, the Karwar territorial division is not interested  in transferring the area to the Dandeli Wildlife Division, he added.

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