GADAG: Good news is likely to come for wildlife lovers in Gadag. Their long-pending demand to accord wildlife sanctuary status to Kappatagudda hills is likely to come true. A proposal in this regard came up during a State Wildlife Board meeting held in Bengaluru recently.
The ore-rich Kappatagudda hill range currently has the status of Conservation Reserve and it is likely to be upgraded into a wildlife sanctuary soon. If declared, it will be the first such wildlife area in North Karnataka though the region has other protected areas.
For many years, the mining lobby has been pressurising the successive governments to open up the hill ranges for mining, stating that the area has no wildlife. But when foresters revealed pictures of rare wildlife, including leopards roaming at Kappatagudda, the mining lobby suffered a set back. It’s said that Kappatagudda sits on gold and diamond deposits and hence, mining companies have been demanding that they be allowed to take up mining activities there.
But Kappatagudda is considered a water-holding lung space as the hill range is spread over 60 km between Binkadakatti village and Singatalur village in Gadag. It is also nicknamed as the ‘Shimla of South’ and the ‘Western Ghats of North Karnataka’.
Besides leopards, Kappatagudda is one among the last surviving grounds for Indian stripped hyena. There are wolves, jackals, Indian fox, Indian star tortoise, pangolins and porcupines too, and the area has abundance of avifauna.
An official from Gadag division said the meeting has decided to give nod for a wildlife sanctuary status to Kappatagudda and it will be a great decision in terms of conserving this unique green area of Gadag district.
Santosh Martin, a wildlife conservationist from Ballari, termed it as a new year gift from Chief Minister Kumaraswamy.