District forest dept to undertake study of wildlife after monsoon (Kolhapur)

Times News Network, May 16 2017

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Kolhapur: The district forest department has decided to initiate a scientific study of the location, food resources and also track behavioral changes for wildlife protection. The study will help frame future conservation plans and will be undertaken after the monsoon season.

Kolhapur’s geographical position is a biological hotspot in the Western Ghats, because of which the district is known for a variety of animals. These include Indian Gaur, wild boar, tiger, the Sambar and Barking deer, wild dogs, bears and many other animals. On the backdrop of the recent man-animal conflicts, the forest department has taken a decision.

Deputy conservator of forests (Kolhapur) Prabhunath Shukla, said, “The forest department will study the animals’ location, their food resources and any change in their behaviour across the district. The study will try to get a holistic view of the wildlife. The department will use modern tracking cameras. We will seek information from zoological experts for the initiative.”

He added that the study’s results will help design an animal-specific conservation plan. “Department would take up this study after the monsoon season and our forest officials will participate in this study,” he said.
Sahyadri Sanvardhan Kendra president, Umakant Chavan said, “The forest department has taken a wise decision to conserve wildlife across the district. They should seek cooperation from wildlife expert that are specialised in such a study and as they can give us the complete picture about any particular animal. The department should not bring such a study into the public domain.”
Honorary wildlife warden of the district, Raman Kulkarni, said, “The study will be helpful in legal matters like rejecting any mining proposal and an animal conservation plan. It will also pave the way for wildlife studies in future.”

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