Presence of spotted deer herds in the social forestry areas of Avinashi and Uthukuli taluks, which are under the control of Public Works Department, has always been a pleasant sight for animal lovers.
A survey conducted by Forest Department officials a few months ago had enumerated the deer population in Avinashi and Uthukuli taluks at 392, spread over Pudupalayam, Thulukkamuthur, Thekkalur, Palankarai and Uthukuli villages.
But the deaths in large numbers in the recent times, mainly due to stray dog attacks and accidents, have become a matter of concern.
The statistics obtained from the Forest Department sources reveals that a total of 42 deer had died since April 2016 till the first week of May 2017. Of them, 27 deer died in 2017 itself till May 2.
Segment-wise, 28 deer were killed by stray dogs, five died after hit by cars/lorries, one run over by train and remaining were dead after either falling into open wells or sickness.
Even though the herds are present in social forestry areas under the PWD control, the Forest Department officials are now taking a serious note of the rising deaths and also taken the lead role in trying to minimise mortality. “Since majority of them been killed by dogs, we have sought the cooperation of panchayat administrations to relocate the stray dogs,” District Forest Officer A. Periasamy said.
The need to go in search of water outside the respective hamlets due to rise in population is cited by activists like K. Ravindran, who is the president of Nature Society of Tirupur, that makes the deer vulnerable to road accidents.
“Fencing of areas and supply adequate quantity of water within the enclosed locality could be considered. This will prevent them from the attacks of stray dogs too,” said Mr. Ravindran.
The forest officials have started setting up more water troughs exclusively for deer in Avinashi taluk. “We have now set up two large troughs and a few smaller ones, with them filled frequently. Setting up more provisions for water is also under consideration,” said District Forest Officer Mr. Periasamy.