June 08, 2019
June 8, 2019: Wildlife Conservation Society - India welcomes the latest notification by Forest, Ecology & Environment department of Karnataka Government announcing the expansion of two protected areas and a new conservation reserve in the State.
While commending the government over the notifications, Country Director of WCS-India, Ms. Prakriti Srivastava said, "This is a very big step towards the conservation of the Western Ghats and will go a long way in preserving critical habitat and wildlife. The credit goes entirely to the government for recognizing the need and taking this action."
The addition of the reserve forests of Honnavara and Sagar division and the Aghanashini LTM conservation reserve to the existing Sharavathi valley wildlife sanctuary to form the Sharavathi valley LTM Sanctuary spanning 930.2 sq km brings an important wildlife corridor under protection while also ensuring habitats of evergreen forests are saved for posterity. Besides Lion Tailed Macaques, other species like the Great Indian Hornbill also will be greatly benefitted by this move. The notification also recognizes the importance of varied habitats like Myristica swamps, etc while ensuring that people inhabiting these areas are unaffected.
Further south, the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary now has an added area of 15.7 sq km of the Muneshwara Reserve Forest. In Mulubagilu taluk, the formation of the 92 acre Kolar Leaf-nosed Bat Conservation Reserve will ensure better protection of the leaf-nosed bat and other species.
At a time when studies have been warning of the rapid decline of wildlife, due to fragmentation of habitats and other pressures, with its repercussions on the ecosystems, it is imperative that we protect our last patches of wilderness and the wildlife they shelter. Towards this, the notification from the government will provide a big boost for conservation efforts in the state.