Periodical Census to Monitor Blackbucks Population at Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve, Mydanahalli, Tumkur Dt, Karnataka

Bela Zutshi; D.R.Prasanna Kumar
Blackbucks are endemic to the Indian Grasslands of Deccan Plateau. It is the only representative of genus antelope found in India and one of the most graceful and the fastest of all surviving species (70 km/hr). They were used to be seen in thousands at the beginning of this century all throughout the plains of India except the Western coast. In 1982, the estimated population in India was ranging from 22,500 to 24,500 [1]. According to India Environment Portal report at the time of Independence, the blackbuck population was estimated at about 80,000. Due to immense pressures of large scale poaching and destruction of their habitat including cultivation, cattle grazing, human habitation etc., today they survive only in a few isolated pockets, with their reduced population [3, 11]. One among these isolated patches of grasslands with Blackbuck is Maydanahalli area of Tumkur district. The major problems here are typical man-animal conflict and shrinkage of habitat both in quality and quantity. Inspite of measures taken by forest department many of the problems are still not addressed. These issues need to be addressed in a holistic manner by establishing the synergy between different stakeholders. Though few focus studies have been taken up but not much work has been done regarding the issues related to conservation and management of the reserve. This paper highlights the periodic census conducted in the project area, as a strategy to understand the populaton dynamics of blackbucks which in turn helps to evolve long term plannings to mitigating some of the problems and helps in evolving newer strategies to sustain the conservation efforts.
Habitat Conservation, Blackbuck census, Mydanahalli, Biodiversity
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