When the mercury rises in the Neelgiri Biosphere the seasonal migration of wild animals has begun from the adjacent wild life sanctuaries in Karnataka and Tamilnadu to Wayanad Wild Life Sanctuary (WWLS) in search of fodder and water.
The sanctuary is a haven for the wild animals such as wild elephants, gaur, different species of antelopes, bears and numerous birds during the summer season. Easy availability of fodder and water through out the year is the attraction of the sanctuary.
The annual migration usually begins from the end of February and it will continue till the advent of monsoon. The forest department has made highly structured measures to assure the availability of fodder, water and protection measures for the migrating wild guests.
Though water scarcity is not affected the sanctuary till now, two temporary check dams is being built inside the sanctuary, where the streams may dry up during summer, a forest official told The Hindu on Sunday . He added that they have a tender machine with a water storage capacity of 3000 litres and we can pump water where ever necessary.
More over, the construction work of a new earthen dam will begin soon at Muthappankolly, an important habitat of wild elephants in Muthanga range under the WWLS at a cost of Rs.3 lakhs, he said.
As a part of the fodder management, the coarse grasslands have been trimmed to grow the soft grasses in the sanctuary for ensuring the fodder security for the herbivores, the officials said.
The sanctuary has been closed till 31 March as a part of generating a trouble free movement for the migrating wild animals from Muthumalai Tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu and Bandipur Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, The official said.
Apart from the 17 permanent anti poaching camps and two watch towers at important strategic points inside the sanctuary as many as 9 newly erected tree top machans (temporary watch towers) have been started functioning this year and forest officials including guards and watchers have been deployed there to alert against poaching and wild fire.
Jungle patrolling has also been introduced during the season led by a deputy forest range officer and the regular patrolling under the forest range officers in 4 ranges under the sanctuary is intensified inside the sanctuary. As a fire season as many as 130 watchers have been deployed inside the sanctuary including 70 newly appointed temporary watchers .
The watchers were equipped with binoculars for observation and wireless apparatus. Free rationing is also provided for the as they are working in remote areas, the officials said.