Sunday, 23 January 2011
Indian bison to roam Bandhavgarh reserve again after a decade
Five gaurs (Indian bison) have been shifted from the Kanha Tiger Reserve to Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve, where these herbivores had become extinct a decade ago.
“We have brought five gaurs - three male and two female - from Kanha in the first phase of the translocation,” Bandhavgarh Reserve’s Field Director C. K. Patil told PTI today.
“The gaurs were transported to Bandhavgarh in specially designed trucks,” Mr. Patil said. Both the reserves are located in eastern Madhya Pradesh, 300 km from each other.
He said that under the first phase of translocation (between Jan 20 to Jan 30), authorities are planning to bring about 20 gaurs to Bandhavgarh, for reviving bison population there.
The five gaurs, the new residents of Bandhavgarh, have been put in an enclosure spread over 50 hectares for now.
Mr. Patil said that they would be released into the wild in March.
“We have already radio-collared four gaurs to track their movements,” he said.
Mr. Patil said that Madhya Pradesh Forest Department along with a wildlife conservation group - KZN Wildlife, South Africa, is carrying out the translocation under the supervision of Wildlife Institute of India. The first phase will cost around Rs. 5 crore, he said.
The field director said that the gaur population of Bandhavgarh was at its highest at 39 in 1989-90, but in the next few years it went down, and the last gaur was spotted in 1998.