Staff Reporter

BANGALORE: A second safe haven for the endangered blackbuck will be created in the State.

After the Blackbuck Sanctuary at Ranebennur in Haveri district, a conservation area for the elegant antelope will be set up in Tumkur district.

A total of 323.28 hectares of land at Maidhana Halli in Tumkur district will be declared as Blackbuck Conservation Area during the fiscal 2007-2008.

The conservation efforts for blackbuck, a protected animal under Wildlife Protection Act 1972, are being taken up as inbreeding, disease, encroachment of natural habitats and poaching threaten their existence.

Conservation area

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) A.K. Verma told The Hindu that the Forest Department had proposed to set up the conservation area in Tumkur district, as some 300 blackbuck were already there. The available forest plantation land would be used to set up the conservation area.

Blackbuck herds, which once freely roamed in India, were the most hunted wild animal in the country, with many princely states promoting their hunt till Independence. Today, South India has only a few numbers of these beautiful animals.