Seeds sown for vegetation revival at Bandipur region

Forest department personnel sow seeds in a fire-hit region on Gopalaswamy Hill. DH Photo

The Forest department, which is determined to revive the lost vegetation and green cover in the fire-hit forest under the Bandipur Tiger Reserve, has taken up sowing of seeds of different varieties of trees, bamboos and grass.

Around 14,000 acres of forest was destroyed at Gopalaswamy Hill and Kundukere ranges in the last week of February due to wildfire. Inspired by the trees that have started sprouting after a few
spells of rain, the department has swung into action to sow seeds in the forest affected by fire.

Bandipur Tiger Project Director T Balachandra told DH, “The reserve forest area is receiving good rains since a fortnight. As the weather is conducive, the first phase of sowing has been started. Around 15 employees are involved in sowing in the fire-hit Gopalaswamy Hill.

Assistant Conservator of Forest Ravikumar said that the department has a target to sow 25 tonnes of seeds.

“Sowing will be done initially in the fire-hit region. Later, it will be continued on vacant lands. Priority is given to sow bamboo and grass. ‘Hamata’, a variety of grass is being sown on a large extent of forestland. In the first phase, three tonnes of grass and two tonnes of bamboo seeds are being sown,” he said.

Balachandra explained that there are chances of the vegetation springing back to life if the fire has not gone deep into the soil.

“The roots of the plants and bushes too would come back to life. The grass is very important to prevent soil erosion in forests. As the grass was totally destroyed in the fire, importance is given to sow seeds of grass. Priority is also given to bamboo and there is a target to sow 10 tonnes of bamboo in the reserve forest,” he added.

The seeds are procured from the Karnataka State Seeds Corporation Limited and seed banks of the Forest department, according to the officials.

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