Wildlife population has doubled

n Animals thrive despite droughts: officials.

Anantapur: Favorable conditions have resulted in an increase in the numbers of wild animals in the reserved forests of Anantapur. Forest department authorities assess that the number of wild animals has doubled in the reserved forests. A fresh census over population of wild animals will be conducted from January 20 -28.

Officials say that many species continued to live even during droughts and rain deficit conditions during previous years.

There was an increase in the number of leopards reported in last year’s census. About 122 leopards existed in the district. There were just 50 wild cats a decade ago and the number has increased even during unfavourable conditions with no drinking water sources in the forest and hills of Kalyanadurgam, Madakasira, Kadiri and Penukonda areas.

Nearly eight of them were killed due to mishaps and food poisoning and few of them died due to age. The leopards depended on human habitations for food and water in the view of dried up tanks and poor availability of prey in the forests. Two leopards entered Rayadurgam municipality last year. Similarly, a couple of leopards were also spotted on Madakasira hills.

Two elephants entered Rolla mandal from Karnataka and killed two persons who tried to take selfies with them two months ago. However, the elephants went back into the Bhadravati forest after travelling more than 150 km in Anantapur district. “We have also released compensation of '5 lakh to each of the victim’s family,” Anantapur DFO A. Chandrasekhar said and added that the flora and fauna increased both omnivores and herbivores in the reserved forests. The officials observed that there would be an increase in the number of leopards, black bucks, bears, foxes and other animals in the district.

There were more than 400 bears and 27,000 black bucks last year and the number would increase with an increase in feasible living conditions. The officials said that drinking water is available in all areas of the reserve forest and hills along with a big number of herbivores.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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