Forest Department suggests need for creation of more artificial water source

The Forest department has prepared proposals for the total habitat improvement in Sathyamangalam forests, which has become the fourth tiger reserve in the State two months ago.

Spread over more than 1.40 lakh hectares, the Sathyamangalam jungle has a unique environment where elephants, tigers, black bucks, hyenas and vultures coexist.

It is home to at least 25 tigers and the elephant population in the region is estimated to be around 1,200. The region also witnesses a healthy growth in the vulture population. But the region had been witnessing a rise in the human-animal conflict due to shortage of water and fodder. Key areas like anti-poaching watch and forest fire prevention also required immediate attention.

“So we have prepared proposals that have man-animal conflict resolution and habitat improvement as the key components, and submitted to the government for approval,” Conservator of Forests, Erode Circle, A. Venkatesh said. The department highlighted the need for the creation of more artificial water sources and increasing the number of anti-poaching camps, particularly in the Tamil Nadu — Karnataka border areas.

More than 15 persons had been killed due to the increased human-elephant conflict, which also resulted in huge damage to the crops. The region also lost five tuskers since 2008 to poachers. “We currently have 10 anti-poaching camps. We have asked for at least 25 more camps and the appointment of more anti-poaching watchers,” Mr. Venkatesh said.

The proposals also suggested the creation of more protective fire lines (a strip of open land in forest to arrest the advance of a fire). “Forest fire often causes damage to precious flora and fauna and destroys the habitat. So we have plans to build more fire lines,” he added.

The department has also proposed to undertake eco-development and conservation activities in 12 villages that are located inside the forests.

“We wanted to promote the awareness among people on the importance of protecting wildlife and create livelihood opportunities for them. The purpose is to reduce the pressure on forest resources,” the conservator of forests said.

“We will make continuous efforts so that people in the villages can live in harmony with the wild animals,” he said.

  • The Department has suggested increasing number of anti-poaching camps

  • Also proposed to create more protective fire lines