Wild guests start migration

Attraction of Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary is availability of water and fodder

Updated - January 08, 2019 02:25 pm IST

Published - January 07, 2019 11:46 pm IST - KALPETTA

With the rise in mercury in the Nilgiri Biosphere, the seasonal migration of wild animals from wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) has begun.

Mammals such as elephants and gaurs migrate to the sanctuary from the adjacent Bandipur and Nagarhole national parks in Karnataka and the Mudumalai national park in Tamil Nadu in search of food and water.

Haven

“The WWS is a haven for migrating wild animals during summer owing to easy availability of fodder and water.

We have made highly structured measures at nearly ₹1 crore to ensure fodder, water and protection for the migrating wild guests,” N.T. Sajan, wildlife warden of the sanctuary, told The Hindu .

Early start

Though the wildlife migration has started a little early this year, man-animal conflict is comparatively very low on the fringes of the sanctuary, Mr. Sajan said, adding that no case of lifting of domestic animals by predators such as tiger or leopard has been reported so far.

Mr. Sajan said water sources in the sanctuary, including 30 earthen bunds, 45 check-dams and 235 waterholes, have been closely monitored with GPS every week to ensure drinking water for the wildlife.

“Though water scarcity has not affected the sanctuary till now, around 150 temporary check-dams are being built with dried bamboo poles inside the WWS, especially in the Tholpetty forest range, where streams may dry up during summer,” he added.

As part of fodder management, around 300 hectares of coarse grasslands have been trimmed to grow soft grass.

Fire line

Fire line has been erected along 230 km on the forest fringes to prevent wildfire. Apart from 25 permanent anti-poaching camps and five watch towers at important strategic points, 12 new treetop machans (temporary watchtowers) will start functioning in a week.

Forest officials, including guards and watchers, have been deployed there to keep watch over poaching and wildfire.

As many as 340 watchers have been deployed inside the sanctuary, including 290 fire watchers and 50 anti-poaching watchers, with essential equipment and wireless sets.

A round-the-clock control room has been set up to issue alert in case of forest fires.

Call: 04936-223500 and 04936-220454.

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