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‘Close trenches in forests adjoining BTR’

Wildlife activists have demanded closing of all Elephant Proof Trenches (EPT) set up between Bhadra Tiger Reserve (BTR) and state reserve forests as they have been hindering movement of animals across

Published: 26th September 2017 02:37 AM  |   Last Updated: 26th September 2017 07:31 AM   |  A+A-

Trenches divide forests between Tanigebailu Wildlife Range, BTR and Thimmapura reserve

Express News Service

BENGALURU:  Wildlife activists have demanded closing of all Elephant Proof Trenches (EPT) set up between Bhadra Tiger Reserve (BTR) and state reserve forests as they have been hindering movement of animals across contiguous forests. EPTs are usually dug between forest boundaries and villages to prevent human-elephant conflicts but in BTR, they have been installed between two forest regions.Activists say that excavation of huge trenches and installation of fences have broken the connectivity between protected areas and reserve forests.

In fact, the continuity between two to three wildlife ranges of BTR and state reserve has been cut at many places as trenches have been dug either in the middle of the forest or on the road itself. Presently, EPT works have been stopped. However, existing trenches ranging from 3km to 15km are cutting off connectivity in Tanigebailu, Hebbe and Muthodi ranges with reserve forests.D V Girish from Bhadra Wildlife Conservation Trust adds: “The forest department has to rectify its  mistakes and allow the free movement of big and large mammals from wildlife to territorial divisions.”

EPT was a scheme to protect farmers on the fringes of forests, adds G Veeresh, activist. “But unfortunately they have been installed between two contiguous forests and are cutting off the movement of animals in search of food, water and habitat. Small mammals have fallen into the trench and died. In some cases recently, death of big carnivores was noticed as they could not cross the trench.”Manoj Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), Project Elephant, told Express: “I will look into this matter as this is totally unscientific and unplanned as EPTs are for mitigating human-elephant conflict and not hindering the movement of animals in the forests.”

EPT dividing forests Tanigebailu Range 
(Lakkavali) - Thimmapura 
Reserve forests - 3-5 km trench
Hebbe Range - Madhuguni 
Reserve forest, Balehonnur 
Division, 10 km trench
Gurupura State Forest -Tanigebailu Range (separates the forest from wildlife range)
Bannur Minor Forest- Devadanni State Forest-Bhadra Tiger Reserve (connectivity broken)
Balehonnur Road - Halsuru (Bhadra)

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