Nugu wildlife sanctuary to merge into Bandipur

Nugu wildlife sanctuary to merge into Bandipur

Go with Dh story by Boskey...Photo of tiger shared by Bandipur tiger reserve director. This photo has been taken at the safari.

Forest department is now working towards merging the small Nugu wildlife sanctuary with vast Bandipur Tiger Reserve (BTR).

This was one of the topics discussed by the department’s wildlife wing recently. It will be for the first time that a wildlife sanctuary will be merged into an existing tiger reserve. The idea behind this is to regulate tourism and protect wandering elephants and tigers.

Bandipur houses the largest number of tigers and elephants. Pressure on BTR has increased multifold with increase in animal population, forcing animals such as elephants and tigers to stray.

C Jayaram, Chief Wildlife Warden, BTR, said that the idea was being discussed. First the state government’s approval will be sought and then the file will be sent to Ministry of Environment and Forests for clearance. At present the management of Nugu and Bandipur is under the BTR Director.

Many homestays, farm lands and private properties of many influential have come up in the eco-sensitive zone of Nugu sanctuary.

Forest staffers receive regular complaints of night safari and starlight trekking from the area. The department has been able to do little to control it. Merger will only lead to better protection and regulation of tourism in Nugu and

The department has also decided to close the road connecting Nugu from Bandipur. Access to Nugu will be through the existing Mysuru state highway. This will ensure lesser man- animal conflict.

The department also plans to shift the Ramapura elephant camp from Bandipur to Nugu. The nine elephants with mahouts and their families will be shifted to Nugu. This will reduce the rush form Bandipur further more, Jayaram said.

Conservationists and forest officials are convinced of the proposal. “Illegal activities thrive more in non-tourism areas where there is less human interference. Once the Forest department office opens in Nugu and tourism shifts from Bandipur to Nugu, illegal activities will come down. There will be no scope for illegal activities to thrive in the guise of cattle grazing, homestays and farmhouses,” said a conservationist.