Where have the blackbucks bolted?

They had been found by probability two summers in the past in Nizamabad’s Nandipet mandal. The sight of blackbuck herds frolicking within the backwaters of Sriramsagar Venture drew wildlife lovers to the positioning in droves and prompted the native Divisional Forest Officer to suggest organising a sanctuary for the endangered species. However the blackbuck inhabitants, which was estimated to be in 1000’s, appears to have shockingly plummeted this 12 months. Why have they disappeared from what was imagined to be their ‘haven’?

They had been found by probability two summers in the past in Nizamabad’s Nandipet mandal. The sight of blackbuck herds frolicking within the backwaters of Sriramsagar Venture drew wildlife lovers to the positioning in droves and prompted the native Divisional Forest Officer to suggest organising a sanctuary for the endangered species. However the blackbuck inhabitants, which was estimated to be in 1000’s, appears to have shockingly plummeted this 12 months. Why have they disappeared from what was imagined to be their ‘haven’?

Over the previous two years, all roads led to the backwaters of Sriramsagar Venture (SRSP) close to Nadikuda village of Nandipet mandal in Nizamabad district round this time. However not anymore, or it so appears. For, it was the locale which offered the spectacular sight of 1000’s of blackbucks strutting about everywhere in the territory, to the delight of the wildlife and nature lovers.

For an unreserved locale which was house solely to blackbucks, apparently, not even a single noticed deer has been sighted up to now three years there. Now, issues appeared to have modified dramatically for the more serious. On a go to to the spot final Sunday, it was a surprising expertise for the handful of nature lovers to identify solely a few dozen blackbucks and that too, after a four-hour intense search. This can be a far cry from the times when wildlife lovers used to search out themselves in a dilemma — which strategy to head with a purpose to get nearer to the blackbucks. Such had been the numbers!

So, what precisely went incorrect up to now couple of years resulting in a dramatic decline within the numbers?

“Primarily, the entire space is unprotected and the blackbucks are simple prey for skilled killers. For the reason that backwaters have develop into so in style for blackbucks, it has been attracting many individuals,” says Okay. Santhosh Kumar, CEO of Navya Bharathi International College and wildlife photographer, who was the primary to showcase to the surface world the presence of those beauties by way of his photos which had been broadly publicised within the media.

Blackbucks are typically sighted between February and July when the backwaters recede after the water from the SRSP is launched for agriculture throughout the summer season.

“Properly, an excessive amount of human interference can be one of many causes. I used to be a witness, sadly, when some guests chased the backbucks in jeeps for some sadistic pleasure of seeing them leap and race away to security,” stated Mr. Santhosh.<EP>Now, the standard buzz and pleasure across the backwaters this summer season is lacking for the primary time after the habitat of the endangered species was found in Could 2020.

It isn’t that high officers of the Forest division weren’t conscious of the menace or the issues readily available with regard to survival of the blackbucks. In August 2020 itself, district forest officers introduced that the blackbucks sighted on the backwaters can be protected underneath an formidable venture. The key plans included organising a blackbuck sanctuary on the traces of Velvadar in Gujarat in addition to making certain full surveillance by organising CCTV cameras. Actually, the highest brass on the State stage concerned within the conservation of forests and wildlife had been additionally briefed about the necessity to shield what was not way back simply the satisfaction of Nizamabad but in addition of Telangana itself.

Blackbucks at the backwaters of Sriramsagar Project near Nadikuda village of Nandipet mandal in Nizamabad district.

Blackbucks on the backwaters of Sriramsagar Venture close to Nadikuda village of Nandipet mandal in Nizamabad district.
| Photograph Credit score: V.V. Subrahmanyam

The huge, picturesque dried-up mattress of the SRSP backwaters offered a breath-taking view for wildlife lovers, courtesy of not simply the blackbucks but in addition different winged guests like flamingos, raptors, pelicans, Indian courser, oriental pratincole, small pratincole, cormorants, painted storks, open-billed storks, spoonbills and various kinds of geese. Not too distant, even leopards had been not too long ago noticed in addition to jackals that repeatedly floor to assault the blackbucks.

However, the dwindling variety of blackbucks is now a matter of significant concern, which begs the query as as to if an enormous alternative of getting an unique blackbuck sanctuary is misplaced. “I struggled to identify the blackbucks after I was there final Sunday. It was an sudden and disappointing state of affairs for certain. Final summer season, round this time, we simply didn’t really feel like getting back from the place as a result of there have been lots of of blackbucks presenting a lovely sight,” remembers P. Sathish Rao, a non-public firm worker and wildlife fanatic, who repeatedly visits the place.

The drastic change in state of affairs over the span of only a 12 months is unhappy, no much less, he provides. “Someplace down the road, we missed an excellent alternative to guard the blackbucks for numerous causes although the locale is simply 40 km from Nizamabad city,” says Mr Sathish.

Shashidhar, a resident of Nadikude village, is equally baffled by the disappearance of the 1000’s of blackbucks. “There have been days when the farmers was once aggravated on the sort of havoc these blackbucks had been unleashing of their fields. However, they discovered methods to maintain them away, corresponding to placing up loud audio system and enjoying music which scared them away. However, we by no means thought their numbers would plummet in only a 12 months,” he explains.

Maybe, your complete locale being on the periphery of the village, permitting simple accessibility, might effectively be one of many causes for the sorry state of affairs, says one other villager.

“Earlier than these blackbucks had been found, we had not seen so many autos, particularly throughout weekends, passing by way of the village. The enjoyment and pleasure of holiday makers to see the blackbucks was palpable, and likewise gave us a way of satisfaction,” says Praveen, a registered medical practitioner and a wildlife fanatic.

Might there be a manner of attracting the blackbucks again to the positioning? Mr Santhosh doesn’t sound too hopeful about it. “I’m not certain. Actually, I significantly doubt whether or not we will see such large numbers once more. The explanations might be many. It isn’t simple to recreate the magic that these blackbucks produced by their mere presence,” he indicators off.

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