Proposal for chinkara sanctuary in dist gathers dust

Proposal for chinkara sanctuary in dist gathers dust

Chinkaras at the Bukkapatna forests in Sira taluk. Conservationist Sanjay Gubbi of Nature Conservation Foundation has recorded the deer species in the grasslands of Sira and Chikkanayakanahalli taluks. DH FILE PHOTO

The proposed wildlife sanctuary for chinkaras (Indian Gazelle) in the forest area spread over Chikkanayakanahalli and Sira taluks in the district has failed to take off due to the apathy of the state government.

Conservationist and scientist with Mysuru-based Nature Conservation Foundation, Sanjay Guubi, has recorded the chinkara population at Bukkapatna and Muttugadahalli forests. The chinkara population in the region is highest in South Karnataka.

Chinkaras are found only in Bagalkot and Tumakuru districts. Based on the case study in CNHalli and Sira taluks, Nature Conservation Foundation had submitted a proposal to the state government in December 2016, seeking it to declare the 190sqkm of the area in the twin taluks as chinkara sanctuary. It’s been two years since the detailed proposal was submitted, but the government has refused to act.

Chinkaras like other deer species thrive best in the grasslands. And the region, where different types of grasses grow, is tailor-made for the deer habitation. So, there is a need to notify the area as a wildlife sanctuary to protect and conserve chinkaras, says wildlife activist B V Gundappa. Chinkaras are in large numbers in Bukkapatna and Manchaldore forests. In the last few years, these forests have experienced blazes due to increased human intervention. Stone quarrying, sand mining, forest wood smuggling and hunting of chinkaras, blackbucks, antelopes among others have increased, Gundappa rued.

The chinkaras and other wild animals will survive and thrive if the area is notified as the wildlife sanctuary, Gundappa says.

Chinkaras thrive in around 1,500 acres of forest land between Huliyar and Sira, which includes Dharamveer Farm and Muttugadahalli forest.

CN Halli MLA J C Madhuswamy has written to the chief minister seeking the government to hand over Dharamveer Farm, which is under the control of the Horticulture department, to the Forest department.