Koppal forest notified as conservation reserve

Koppal forest notified as conservation reserve

A leopard and two bears camera-trapped in bushes of Indargi-Vanaballari region in Koppal taluk.

The state government has declared about 839 acres of bush and hillocks in the taluk as reserve forest to protect and conserve bear, leopard and other wild animals endemic to the region.

In a bid to curb the man-animal conflicts, the Forest department had submitted a proposal to the district administration in this regard.

In its proposal, the Forest department had highlighted the rising incidents of the man-animal conflict in the bushy forests of Indargi, Vanaballari, and parts of Gangavati taluk. It had placed camera traps at several places in the region to study the movement of wild animals. As many as 40 bears and four leopards were caught on camera trap.

During the study, the Forest officials had found wild animals straying into villages and preying on cattle. The department had formulated a plan to put a curb on the menace and submitted the same for the deputy commissioner’s approval.

The district administration has given its approval to the plan and handed over 839.23 acres of forest and government land to the Forest department for bear and leopard reserve.

District Forest Officer Yashpal Ksheerasagar told DH, “The district administration, following the plea by the environmentalists and the wildlife activists, has declared the region as reserve forest and handed over the same to the Forest department to take measures to protect and conserve the wild animals. A private firm has been assigned to install camera traps to carry out the census of wild animals and their movement. We will get a picture only after the firm submits its report,” the DFO said.

Bears straying into human habitats and spotting of odd leopard had given sleepless nights to the villagers and the Forest personnel in Koppal and Gangavati taluks.