‘Do not create artificial waterholes in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries’

Wildlife conservationists have urged the Forest Department to desist from creating artificial waterholes in national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, and allow for natural regulation of wildlife through ecological processes.

The Forest Department has created artificial waterholes and replenished them with water in Metikuppe and intends to replicate the same in Antharsanthe and Veeranahosahalli in Nagarahole National Park. There are similar plans for Bandipur with the objective of ensuring drinking water for wild animals during summer.

However, Wildlife First, an NGO spearheading the cause of wildlife conservation and comprising experts, has pointed out that management interventions should be kept to the bare minimum so that population dynamics of animals entailing weeding out of the weak animals is not affected.

Praveen Bhargav and K.M. Chinnappa, trustees of the Wildlife First, have aired their concerns with Dipak Sarmah, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, and said national parks, tiger reserves and wildlife sanctuaries should be maintained as natural habitats and not like zoos and safari parks.

Wildlife has evolved over thousands of years and have survived natural cycles of harsh, dry conditions and the water crisis this year is not something new, according to Wildlife First which said there was disproportionately heavy investments in many reserves on creating artificial water sources.

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