Khammam: The gaur or Indian bison, which occupies a venerable position on the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s red data list, is becoming an endangered species in the Kinnerasani Wildlife Sanctuary, which exten-ds over four Assembly segments, namely Kothagudem, Yellandu, Pinapaka and Wyra.
The gaur is a large animal, the males being black in colour and the females brown. They usually live in herds of around eight to 10 animals, led by an adult bull. Bulls fight among themselves to establish dominance over a herd.
There are about 100 gaurs and nearly 10 herds in the sanctuary.
The sanctuary now measures only 40,000 hectare and many people from the plains, pretending to be Adivasis, are cultivating forest land over about 23,000 hectare.
This reduced area for living has affected the gaur’s numbers as the herds are now finding it difficult to get sufficient fodder in the forest while the widespread presence of open cast mines is also a threat.
About five to 10 gaurs per year fall to poachers’ guns despite Forest department officials setting up various check posts as a preventive measure. Killing bison for food is a regular practice in these habitations.
The gaurs, which are herbivores, feed mainly on grass, and during times of drought, on leaves, creepers and plants. Being ruminant animals, they usually feed during the morning and evening and return to the forest at night.
Small ponds are being dug in the sanctuary to make drinking water available for the animal. Efforts are also on to raise fodder....