The summer rains which were in a long duration in Idukki district have considerably reduced the chances of wild fires that occur during the peak of the summer season resulting in vast lose to the forest wealth, its flora and fauna.
``There is a complete green cover to the grassland areas which are prone to wildfires,'' said Shaby Varghese, Wildlife Warden, Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary. According to Mr. Verghese, streams have reappeared giving a fresh lease of life to the wild animals which moves out of the core areas in search of water and food during extreme summer.
Idukki Wildlife Sanctuary is prone to wildfires as it constitutes areas of hills having dry grasslands. Mr. Varghese said that it was since a long period that such green covering being received by the grasslands during April. It was usual to have one or two rains and after a short term, the grasslands begin to dry up, he said. It is now a completely changed greenish environ in the forest.
``In this summer, only two instances of wildfires at small scale have occurred and the prolonged monsoon last season also helped in reducing the possibility of wildfire" he said.
The chances of disease spreading to the wild animals due to the contamination of water sources are now remote as water sources are clean in almost all animal locating areas during the peak season. However, he said that a detailed study is on if there was any cyclical imbalance on animal has not been taken up.
An official of the Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) said that only a minor wildfire was reported during the summer season. He said that the PTR has only limited grassland areas prone to wildfires. According to him, the chances of water contamination in the streams on the outer areas that posed a threat to the wild animals during summer season could be checked during this season. It was reported that contamination of water had caused disease on wild animals in the PTR, taking a toll on them two years back. A waste treatment plant to save the Mullaperiyar lake from contamination was also proposed in the PTR.