Rains infuse life into forests in tiger reserves

Good spells of showers in the recent past have injected life into ponds in the forests in Bandipur, Nagarahole Biligirirangana Betta tiger reserves. PHOTO BY SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Beset with the incidents of forest fire and sweltering heat in the last couple of months, Tiger Reserves at Bandipur, Nagarahole and Biligiriranga Temple witnessed bounteous rains on Saturday.

Even though the region had witnessed a few spells of rains a week ago, Saturday’s rains were incessant and brought cheers among the forest staffers and conservationists.

According to the data provided by the Karnataka State Natural Disaster Monitoring Centre (KSNDMC) both the districts—Mysuru and Chamarajanagar have received good rainfall since Friday evening. Rainfall at several places ranged from a minimum of 5 mm to a maximum of 22 mm in a span of 24 hours.

The much-needed rains have also brought respite for the wildlife that was staring at a severe water crisis in the forest areas. “The rains are definitely a blessing in disguise. The heavy rains have not only cooled the ambience but also resulted in inflow into the water tanks. This will also help the flora that was gutted in the fire to regenerate gradually,” said a senior official of the forest department attached with one of the ranges in Bandipur.

Sources in Gundlupet revealed to DH that since last week ranges like Moleyur, Hediyala and Kalkere have received heavy rainfall. “There are about 321 lakes and tanks within Bandipur Tiger Reserve spread across 13 ranges. Of which, as many as 180 had less volume of water while about 45 lakes were filled with water with the help of solar water pumps. But the rains have brought back the life with enough inflow into these water bodies,” a forest watcher at Moolehole Range told DH.

Kabini springs to life

Kabini reservoir in the middle of Bandipur and Nagarahole Tiger Reserves has been the main water source for animals and avian species during scorching summer days. However, in the past few years, receding water levels had triggered panic among the conservationists. But this year due to heavy rainfall in Wayanad region and a few areas in Bandipur and Nagarahole, the Kabini reservoir at Beechanahalli in HD Kote taluk of Mysuru has been receiving good inflow.

KSNDMC data on Saturday showed that the reservoir with a capacity of 2,284 feet currently has 2,275.83 feet of water with an inflow of 194 cusecs. During 2018 on the same day, the reservoir had just 94 cusecs inflow.

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