Thursday, July 24, 2014

Increase in Blackbuck Numbers at Vallanaadu Wildlife Sanctuary

Blackbucks in Vallanaadu Wildlife Sanctuary

It has recently been reported that the blackbuck population in Tamil Nadu's Vallanaadu Wildlife Sanctuary has increased by 300 percent due to protective measurements carried out by the Department of Forest and the creation of awareness by the forest staff in nearby villages over the years. A survey carried out by the forest staff last December indicated that the sanctuary's blackbuck population, which numbered at 37 in 2010, has increased to 120. Established in 1987 on a 1,641.21-hectare patch of land, Vallanaadu is one of three wildlife sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu known for having considerable numbers of blackbuck. The other two are Point Calimere and Sathyamangalam Wildlife Sanctuaries. Due to the blackbuck's presence in these protected areas, the state government of Tamil Nadu bestowed them with sanctuary status with the goal of increasing the antelope's population. In addition, the government also provided protection to the blackbuck through the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972. The aspects to the sudden increase in Vallanaadu's blackbuck population include consistent patrolling by the forest staff, which helped completely stop poaching and trespassing of people and stray dogs into the sanctuary. Moreover, the department also planted grass on two hectares on a trial run in an effort to increase the range of grazing land. When the trial gave acceptable results, the area increased to five hectares. According to a ranger named C. Nellainayagam, the forest staff also dug deep bore-wells with tanks at four points to provide drinking water for the animals so that they do not need to go out of the sanctuary in search of water. Furthermore, the forest staff carry out awareness programs in nearby villages so that villagers would not harm the blackbuck accidentally wandering into their property. The Department of Forest has even proposed to the state government to turn Vallanaadu into an eco-tourism center.

This article clearly describes the ability and effectiveness of tasks carried out by members of the forest personnel in a wildlife sanctuary, in order to help protect its flagship species and other wildlife. Vallanaadu Wildlife Sanctuary in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu has proven itself as an exemplary example of a wild place deeply committed to protecting its wildlife and ensuring its survival. This was seen through continuous patrolling by the forest staff for poachers and trespassers, raising awareness among local villagers in order to encourage them not to harm any wildlife, and increasing the amount of grazing lands for blackbucks and other grazing animals to thrive. What Vallanaadu has accomplished and continues to  should be taken as an inspiration and a guide by forest personnel and departments in other protected areas of India and the world in protecting their wildlife and ensuring its survival and peaceful coexistence with people. This would further help in conservation at both local and global levels.

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