Hyderabad: While the lockdown restricted the movement of humans, the wildlife in all the major sanctuaries in the State has shown signs of relief as they are moving much freely in their habitats. The relief comes as there is hardly any traffic on the roads in Amrabad Tiger Reserve, Kawal Wild Life Sanctuary and Tiger Reserve and other sanctuaries.
According to R Shobha, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests Telangana, the time is appropriate to study the behaviour of tigers and other animals in the wild. “We have directed all the officials to redeploy camera traps at all water sources and on the roads where animal crossings are noticed,” she told ‘Telangana Today’. The camera traps help in studying the behaviour of carnivores. Rangers say that it is difficult to observe them in their natural habitat due to their solitary nature. The behavioural study helps forest officials estimate animals’ home range size in the absence of human intervention.
Forest Range Officers (FROs) were further advised to document the road crossings of wild animals with photos and time. “They were asked to note down the pattern of their visit to water holes and the movement across the roads species-wise and also record unusual behaviour, if any, and their food habits,” she said. The officers would have to submit the same to the headquarters with photos after a month so that a detailed study can be conducted on the animal behaviour during the lockdown.
With the summer fast approaching and the temperatures rising, the PCCF directed the FROs to ensure the safety of wildlife from fires and to thoroughly check for snares, wires etc., installed by poachers. However, it was also noticed that some emergency and essential duty vehicles were still plying in high speeds on roads passing through the forests as the stretches were empty. It was advised that some obstructions or caution points be erected to avoid road kills. Similarly, shifting and grading of plants would be postponed for the time being as temperatures are high.
Lockdown and nurseries
The State has embarked on a massive afforestation programme “Telangana Ku Haritha Haram”, and huge nurseries have been established all over the State so that all required plants can be supplied to the nearby gram panchayat. However, the lockdown had its impact on tending these nurseries which require regular watering.
“We have advised district-level forest officers to take care of daily wagers working in our nurseries and to take steps to ensure proper maintenance of the facilities,” she said. Orders were given to make arrangements for food, ration etc to daily wagers as it was done in the Nizamabad Circle. The Forest Department would seek help from the Revenue Department for supplying ration to them. Instructions were issued to make watering arrangements in nurseries despite the shortage of labour. “They can take the help of the nursery watchman if necessary but have to see that the saplings are watered and weeding is also done on a regular basis,” she said.
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