Hyderabad: Environmentalists want the Bejjur area to be declared a wildlife sanctuary instead of a conservation reserve as it is not situated on private land. Usually, conservation reserves are declared in private lands and offer less legal protection than sanctuaries. While forest officials argue that both have almost the same legal protection, experts beg to differ.
Recently, the State Wildlife Board notified the nesting and breeding area of the long billed vulture in the Bejjur range of the Kagaznagar division as a conservation reserve under the Wildlife Protection Act.
“We have asked for it to be a sanctuary as it is government land. A sanctuary provides full protection and all proposals have to go to the National Wildlife Board and the Supreme Court, whereas it is easy for land to be alienated in conservation reserves,” said Hyderabad Tiger Conservation Society founder Imran Siddique.
TS chief wildlife warden P.K. Jha said that the vulture population had increased in the last three years in the Bejjur range, from 10 to 30, because of conservation measures. “Around 120 sq. km surrounding the hillock has been declared a conservation reserve. The area has been given almost similar legal status as of a wildlife sanctuary,” he said.