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November 01, 2012
In this blog its about the Blackbucks (a species of
antilopes) in and around the Koppal district of Karnataka, the place where I hail from.
|A Blackbuck in dry grasses.
Now these Blackbucks (Antilope cervicapra) are a species of
Antilopes native to the Indian sub-continent. These have been classified as
endangered by IUCN since 2003. Blackbuck is the only living species of genus Antilope. Today, the blackbuck population is confined to areas in
Maharashtra, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and
Karnataka, with a few small pockets in central India.
|Female ones can be identified without horns.
There are about a few thousands of blackbucks found in Koppal
taluqs(sub-districts) about 15km away from Koppal district. These herd of blackbucks graze in a group of 5 to 20 individuals in the dry grasses near Koppal. Though these are prohibited against hunting and poaching, occasionally these are hunted down
for their flesh and skin. The only natural predators of these blackbucks are wolves other than man. The main food of these animals is the leaves of thorny shrub,
Prosopis juliflora found abundant through out the district.
The most of area in which these animals graze is black soil. These herds are found nearby small streams and more often graze into the crops of nearby villagers. The people have found it tough to avoid them from grazing
into the fields. There has been a loss of Rs. 1 crore to the farmers in the year 2010. However the farmers do no harm to these antilopes instead they request the Forest Dept. Officials to shift these herbivores to nearby sanctuaries and save their crops.
However, since there is no or very less forest land in the Koppal district, it is not possible to shift them. Also the blackbucks are sensitive animals and they may die of shock if they are tranquilized and physically
shift them to nearby sanctuaries. Since there is no forest land in Koppal district, the department may require around 400-500 acres to set up a blackbuck sanctuary. However there are no plans to setup a sanctuary as it involves a long process like huge funds
to buy agriculture land from farmers and taking permission from the state and union governments.
However the union and state governments are not in a mood to take a positive step.