Kerala

Summer triggers wildlife migration to Wayanad sanctuary

A herd of wild elephants crossing the Kozhikode-Kollegal National Highway 766 passing through the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.  

The seasonal migration of wild animals from the adjacent wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) has started with the onset of summer.

Elephants and gaur usually migrate to the sanctuary from the adjacent Bandipur and Nagarhole national parks in Karnataka and the Mudumalai national park in Tamil Nadu owing to the drought-like situation there.

“The WWS is a haven for wild animals during the summer owing to easy availability of fodder and water throughout the year. The better summer rain in February was a boon to the wild guests as the majority of waterholes in the sanctuary have sufficient water,” says WWS warden S. Narendra Babu.

“We have made highly structured measures at an estimate of ₹1.3 crore to ensure fodder, water, and protection measures for animals,” he says.

The sanctuary has at least one waterhole every two sq km and they are being monitored with GPS every week to ensure availability of drinking water. Now, steps are on to construct 35 brushwood check-dams to mark International Day of Forests on March 21.

As part of fodder management, around 390 ha of coarse grasslands have been trimmed to grow soft grass. Sanctuary authorities are also planning to map vayals and waterbodies to ensure fodder supply during the dry season.

Alert to forest fire

Fire lines have been erected along 70 km on the State border and controlled burning has been done in 150 ha on forest fringes to prevent forest fire.

Apart from 25 permanent anti-poaching camps and five watchtowers at strategic points, 27 new treetop machans (temporary watchtowers) have started functioning on the four forest ranges of the sanctuary.

As many as 250 watchers have been deployed inside the sanctuary, including 200 fire watchers and 50 anti-poaching watchers, with essential equipment and wireless sets.

A round-the-clock control room set up to issue alert in case of forest fires can be reached at 04936 223500 and 8547603486.

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Printable version | Apr 11, 2021 3:43:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/kerala/summer-triggers-wildlife-migration-to-wayanad-sanctuary/article34008747.ece

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