Monday, April 23, 2012

Wildlife action plan is need of the hour

Wildlife action plan is need of the hour
Times of India

Saurashtra has many rare wildlife species. This is a matter of pride for the region. However, what is causing concern to people, particularly wildlife activists, is the fact that many animals belonging to rare species have been becoming victims of road accidents of late.

An Indian hyena, an animal protected under Schedule I of Wildlife Protection Act, was killed in a road accident on Friday night near Ambardi village on Savarkundla-Rajula road in Amreli district. "Many precious wildlife species are getting killed in road accidents. This is a cause of concern. Forest department should do something about it," said Chirag Acharya, wildlife lover from Savarkundla.

"Earlier two leopards, including a two-month-old cub, was killed in a road accident in Amreli district. The leopard cub was hit by a vehicle near SavarKundla when it was crossing the road," Acharya added. "Since lions, leopards, hyenas, blue bulls and other wild animals are coming out of the jungle into the revenue areas, road accidents would only increase in the future, resulting in more deaths of precious wildlife species. As far as Amreli district is concerned, even during day time, people can see lions and leopards crossing the roads,'' said Nilesh Mehta, a nature lover from Savarkundla.

"We regularly come across cases wherein blue bulls are reported killed in road accidents. Forest department can at least put sign boards suggesting presence of wildlife in particular areas. This would alert vehicle drivers and prevent wild animals from being killed in road accidents,'' Mehta added. Shrenik Shah, a wildlife conservationist from Bhavnagar, said that on Ahmedabad-Bhavnagar highway, which passes through Blackbuck National Park (BNP), Velavadar, every month, at least one blackbuck gets killed in a road accidents. Blackbuck is also a protected species under Wildlife Protection Act.

"There is no action plan to save blackbucks which are getting killed regularly in road accidents near Blackbuck National Park. There are no hoardings or sign boa-rds on roads. Vehicles that hit wild animals easily escape after the accident," Shah said.

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