MYSORE: Malle Mahadeshwara forest range, which was once the territory of forest brigand Veerappan recorded an increase in elephant, langur and bear population across the region.
Also more sandalwood trees were spotted in Ramapura, Changadi and M M Hills adjacent to the Cauvery Wild Life Sanctuary and in neighbouring Tamil Nadu.
The M M Hills forest range saw an increase in wildlife population in the recent years. At present, the forest comprise 167 elephants and a significant population of sambar, leopard, deer, bear and langur.
Langur were hunted by the brigand’s gang and the localites who believe that its meat is a good cure for asthma. Ranger at the M M Hills Nanjundiah said the increase in wildlife population indicates the quality of the forest. ACF Nagendra said the number of panthers increased as compared to previous years.
The prey census being carried out by the Wildlife Conservation Society would further throw light on the increasing population in the forest.
The rise in tusker population is attributed to the strict vigil consisting of watch towers in 17 places and 11 anti-poaching camps in Tokere, Nadumallu, Yarkayadu, Huliseppatti, Mulpanchars in Karnataka-Tamil Nadu border. There were reports of poaching of sambar and other deer for meat for local consumption.
Recently, the forest department raided the villages, seized sambar and deer meat and booked cases four cases in this regard.
With the increase in sandalwood trees, the forest officials stepped up the vigil and warned to timber smugglers and others in Changadi areas of stringent action.
The forest department also developed networks among the wildlife lovers and members of the village forest committees to keep a vigil and report cases of natural death of animals, poaching or timber felling in the forest.