Relocate some blackbucks of Ganjam at Balukhand-Konark sanctuary
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In view of dwindling blackbuck population in Balukhand-Konark wildlife sanctuary, which once used to be a safe habitat for the animal, the Wild Orissa, an NGO working for conservation of wildlife, has decided to revive the habitat there.
The Wild Orissa has prepared a master plan jointly with Puri forest division to bring some blackbucks from Ganjam district to the sanctuary to start regaining the lost glory of the popular sanctuary. Presently, the blackbuck
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“There is concentration of the blackbuck, a scheduled-I species, in Ganjam district because of favourable condition of the habitat. However, the animal has been extinct in Balukhand-Konark sanctuary in the last five years. We have planned to relocate some blackbucks of Ganjam at the Balukhand-Konark sanctuary so that they breed well,” said Wild Orissa secretary Monalisa Bhujabal.
Divisional forest officer (Puri) Chittaranjan Mishra said to start the revival we have proposed release of two males and six female blackbucks to the Balikhand sanctuary. “We will seek approval of the chief wildlife warden for shifting of the animals. The Balukhand habitat is conducive now to release the animals,” Mishra told TOI adding they are examining factors that led to the extinction of the blackbucks in the sanctuary.
Wild Orissa survey reveals that the blackbuck population in the sanctuary dwindled because of natural calamities, construction activities near the habitat, depletion of meadow, hunting by stray dogs, poaching and road accidents. “Local community will also be involved in conservation of the rare species as it is because of them Ganjam district has recorded increase in their population,” Bhujabal said.
The blackbucks prefer grassy and plain land with less dense forest. They also prefer habitat which has a lot of water sources. “Since large herd of blackbuck is a problem as they have to spend more energy while travelling. So, it is wise to relocate some blackbucks to Balukhand sanctuary to start the revival exercise,” said principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) Siddhant Das.