Delay in imposing ban on vehicular traffic on roads passing through reserve forest areas and wildlife sanctuaries continues to take its toll. A wildcat fell victim to a vehicle near Kankumbi under Kankumbi Forest Range of Khanapur on Monday.
Though the forest officials said it was a civet, wildlife activist Giridhar Kulkarni said it was a leopard cat cub.
A sambar wasmowed down in Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary by a speeding vehicle on Sindhanoor-Hemmadaga State Highway (SH-30) on Tuesday night. The sambar is protected under Schedule 3 of the Wildlife Protection Act and acts as an important prey species for tigers, leopards and dholes.
Close to nine large mammals, including gaur, chital, and jackal have fallen prey to vehicles passing through the forests in these areas over the past five years, says Giridhar Kulkarni.
The Deputy Conservator of Belagavi Forest division Vijay Mohan Raj has already written a letter requesting the Deputy Commissioner N. Jayaram to ban vehicular traffic movement in reserve forests and wildlife sanctuaries to protect endangered species and other wildlife. Mr. Jayaram said that he was considering the request but yet to issue an order in this regard.
Adding its bit to prevent wildlife mortality, the forest division has started installing signboards with the help of Kanana Wildlife Conservation Organisation headed by Mr. Kulkarni. The organisation has donated 12 signboards, which have been installed on the Sindhanoor-Hemmadaga SH-30 on a stretch of 10 km within Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary limits.
Belagavi forest division, which has a satisfactory population of tiger, encompassed four State Highways and one National Highway passing through critical wildlife habitats. The Sindhanoor-Hemmadaga State Highway, upgraded to a high-speed road recently, passes through the heart of Bhimgad Wildlife Sanctuary, and widening of National Highway 4A is to be taken up soon.
A gaur (colloquially called Indian Bison) was crushed to death in 2014 near Kanakumbi on the Belagavi-Chorla State Highway. More recently a gaur was mowed down by an unidentified vehicle on NH 4. State Highway 34 (Alnavar- Ramnagar), which passes through Nagargali forest area, has witnessed several chital road kills in the recent years. NH 4A has also seen road kills of chital, jackal and other animals. Innumerable numbers of snakes are routinely crushed to death.