Hassan: The forest department plans to submit a proposal to declare about 40,000 hectares covering Arakalgudu, Yeslur, Sakleshpur and Alur ranges, known as chronic human-animal conflicts areas, a wildlife sanctuary in the interest of the wildlife in the region to the State Wildlife Board in April.
Speaking to DC, Chief Conservator of Forests, A K Singh said he was weighing the option of merging Sakleshpur sub-division with the Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary of Madikeri, although a similar proposal was struck down by the State Wildlife Board a couple of years ago.
“Union Minister for Forests and Environment, Ramanath Rai now seems interested in declaring the Sakleshpur sub-division a wildlife sanctuary. This will help in improving the animals’ habitat, in carrying out better surveillance , creating more infrastructure, and appointment of experienced forest guards,” he explained.
While a wildlife conservationist believes the Sakleshpur sub-division lacks continuous forest tracts necessary for a wildlife sanctuary with villages and coffee plantations occupying portions of the forests, Mr Singh says only the remaining forestland will be considered for declaration as a protected area.
Welcoming the idea, a forest officer points out that in the absence of an adequate habitat, elephants often stray from Madikeri ito Hassan and need to be chased back....