A paper on habitat fragmentation in PWS will be presented at a symposium in Stuttgart
True to its name, the perennial river Pranahita infuses life into the Pranahita Wildlife Sanctuary (PWS) but the road network within the sanctuary snatches away the joy of free movement from the animals. Fragmentation of habitat is a much bigger problem in this lesser known facility, the home of the endangered blackbuck, chinkara and wolf in Adilabad district.
The troublesome issue of habitat fragmentation in the PWS will get international attention later this year as it will be discussed at an international symposium at Stuttgart in Germany.
Dr. E. Narasimha Murthy, a post doctoral fellow at University of Hyderabad will present a paper on ‘Impact of road network on Pranahita Wildlife Sanctuary' at the Network for Mobility 2012 Symposium being organised by the Centre for Transportation Research (FOVUS), University of Stuttgart.
Spread in 136 sq km of area along the banks of Pranahita, PWS is located in Neelwai and Kotapally mandals where road connectivity is comparatively good. Though this makes for better transport conditions, it disturbs the PWS inhabitants such as the tiger, panther sloth bear, cheetal, nilgai and a variety of aquatic birds and reptiles.
“The sanctuary is spread in one of the rare plain areas in this district, which made the task of laying roads easy thereby effecting fragmentation. Extraction of gravel as part of improvement in road connectivity has also worsened the situation here,” says the botanist who has worked extensively in the PWS.
Besides, the death of wild animals in road accidents, including that of the protected Indian antelope, fragmentation has also caused depletion of grasslands inside the sanctuary. However, as the PWS has received scant attention, there is paucity of proper data on this aspect.
The host German organisation endeavours to carry out research on the impact of road networks in all spheres of activity. This is intended for development of newer systems of transport networks.
“I hope my paper at the symposium results in giving a direction for development of road networks keeping in mind the disturbance to the natural habitats. This is essential before development threatens to wipe out the entire population of wild animals in the PWS,” says Dr. Narasimha Murthy.