Lack of wildlife management plan in Aravallis a cause of concern
Frequent sighting of leopards may have given optimism to wildlife officials over the increase in population of leopards in Aravallis in and around Gurugram.
However, lack of effective wildlife management plan towards preserving the wildlife resources in the Aravallis is adversely affecting the flora in the green belt of Aravallis.
Most of the plans that have been mulled by city wildlife officials towards protection of wildlife in Aravallis have still not been implemented.
While wildlife officials assure that vital steps are being taken towards the protection of animals, they also conceded that a lot of administrative delays from the higher authorities are causing a delay in implementation.
The fiasco of November 24 incident last year – where a two year old leopard was killed brutally by the villagers in Mandawar – had prompted the wildlife officials to mull over wildlife protection mechanism in Aravallis.
The city wildlife officials were to collaborate with the Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun towards implementing the mechanism of wildlife protection in Aravallis. Yet, six months on, there has been no action towards implementation of this vital process.
Further, there were plans to install radio collar devices among the captured and released leopards, so that their movements can be tracked. This process has also not been implemented as of now.
Besides leopards, other wildlife species found in the Aravallis include Hyenas, Nilgais Civet cats and rabbits.
There are also large numbers of exotic birds that abound the green belt area during breeding seasons.
Besides the bureaucratic delays, officials raised the issue of encroachments, illegal mining and human hostility, which are some major factors jeopardising the safety of wildlife in Aravallis.
"On our part, we are taking major steps towards protection of the wildlife in Aravallis. There is a huge budget allocated towards building the fences so that the wild animals do not stray into human areas. We are also now digging a large number of pits in collaboration with other agencies so that animals do not have to venture outside for water," said M D Sinha, Conservator Forest, Gurugram circle.
"Even as steps are being taken, challenges are still aplenty. Lack of clarity in laws has resulted in a lot of encroachments in the green belt area, for which animals have faced the brunt. Also, the human hostility towards animals has increased over the years," added Sinha.
"Apathy of public officials has affected a large part of flora and fauna of Aravallis. When you have a situation in the recent past where hundreds of trees are being cut to make way for a real estate project, the wildlife is surely going to suffer," said S S Oberoi, an environmental activist.
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