Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary


Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary

Infobox_protected_area | name = Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary & Project Tiger Reserve
iucn_category = II



caption = Map of India
locator_x = 74
locator_y = 262
location = Chikmagalur District and Shimoga district, India
nearest_city = Chikmagalur, India
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area = 492.46 km²
established = 1974
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governing_body = Government of Karnataka

Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary is 38 km. northwest of Chikmagalur town in Karnataka state. The sanctuary is surrounded by Mullaianagiri, Hebbegiri, Gangegiri and Babaudangiri hills and has the tributaries of the Bhadra river flowing through it. The western border of the sanctuary abuts the back waters of the Bhadra Reservoir which has a catchment area of 1,968 km², surrounded by scenic hills and steep slopes.

Conservation history

The area was first declared as Jagara Vally Wildlife sanctuary in 1951 by the then government of Mysore covering an area of 77.45 km². After a systematic survey of the flora and the fauna of the area and its surroundings, the area was extended to its present extent in 1974.

Flora and Fauna

A diverse range of wildlife is found in the sanctuary like bison (Gaur), Elephants, Tiger, Leopard, Sambar, Chital spotted deer, Boar, Porcupine, Muntjac, birds like the Peacock, Parrot, Partridge, Pigeon, Munia and Bee eaters, and reptiles such as King Cobras and Indian Rock Pythons.

Activities

Nature enthusiasts can avail safari facilities at "River Tern Lodge", a Jungle Lodge and Resort undertaking of the state government. Not to be missed apart from the jungle safaris is a boat ride to the several small islands that dot the reservoir. These islands are breeding grounds of the River Tern, a sleek white bird with a yellow beak. Literally thousands of these birds nest on the islands during monsoon season (June - August). Eventually their eggs hatch and the nestlings fly away just before the rising waters of the reservoir inundates the islands. Common trees of the forest are Teak, Rosewood, Mathi, Honne, Nandi, Kindal etc.

CENSUS FIGURES FOR BHADRA 1993 1997-----------------------------------------------Tiger 25 33Leopard 11 21Elephant 161 203 Gaur 139 186 Chital 780 Sambar 518 Bonnet Macacque 248 Wildboar 470 Muntjac 749 -----------------------------------------------

Concerns

*Growing human population in the 26 villages that are close to the sanctuary and encroachment.
*Livestock population and grazing by the thousands of cattle that belong to the villagers.
*Diseases. Livestock carry diseases like foot and mouth disease to the herbivours in the park. During the 1989-99 time period, rinderpest wiped out most of the Gaur population, which numbered more than a thousand, reducing the population to its present numbers. With proactive programs of inoculating local cattle, the population of Gaur is again on the rise.
*Tunga-Bhadra Lift Irrigation Project. This project promises to bring water to the rainshadow areas of Chikmagalur district by transferring water from Tunga river to Bhadra River, but poses a threat of disturbance to the natural habitat.
*Poaching of Timber by villagers.

References / Links

* [http://projecttiger.nic.in/bhadra.htm Reserve Guide - Bhadra Tiger Reserve] Official web page of Bhadra Tiger Reserve by Project Tiger Reserve in India - Government of India
* [http://www.indianaturewatch.net/displayimage.php?id=5357 A captivating image of 2 tigers staring an adult Gaur in Bhadra Tiger Reserve]
* [http://westernghats.blogspot.com/2006/03/wildlifing-in-indias-youngest-tiger.html 'Wildlifing in Bhadra'] Article on Bhadra Tiger Reserve, published in Sunday Herald (Deccan Herald), Bangalore, July 1, 2001.
* [http://www.wpsi-india.org/tiger/bhadra.php Fact sheet of Bhadra Tiger Reserve] by Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI).
* [http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/oct03/spt1.asp 'End of conflict'] A story on the once man-animal conflict in Bhadra Sanctuary.
* [http://www.indianaturewatch.net/view_cat.php?tag=Bhadra%20Tiger%20Reserve Excellent images from Bhadra Tiger Reserve]


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