Kumram Bheem Asifabad: The scorching heat wave conditions may be taking a toll on people in the district but for wildlife in Kumram Bheem Asifabad district, this summer is turning out, so far, not a season for worry to quench their thirst. This follows Forest Department officials providing several artificial water holes and cleaning up natural water sources in the forest.
“The protected forest area in the district has been divided into 4 sqkm grids while reserve forest areas have been divided into 9 sqkm grids and we have ensured that each of these grids has a drinking water source for wild animals. In the grids without perennial water sources, we have built saucer pits, installed solar powered bore wells that feed percolation tanks,” District Forest Officer Laxman Ranjit Nayak told Telangana Today.
While Asifabad forest division has been divided into 591 grids, five other forest ranges – Kaghaznagar, Sirpur (T), Karjelli, Penchikalet and Bejjur in Kaghaznagar forest division – has been divided into 319 grids to ensure drinking water availability for wild animals.
We have cleaned up the natural water holes of all accumulated debris to prevent any possible spread of disease among the wildlife. Water is being filled in saucer pits with tanks carried on bullock carts and water tankers, he said.
The efforts are bearing fruit with camera traps installed at these water sources capturing images of a variety of wild animals coming to drink from the saucers.
Significantly, the sustained efforts of the foresters are preventing the wild animals from straying into human habitations in search of water. Further, all water holes in the forest, natural or man-made, are being kept free from presence of cattle and other domestic animals to ensure wild animals do not face disturbance, and more importantly, do not contract diseases carried by domestic animals.
“The field staff has been instructed to monitor these water bodies by creating pressure impression pads to identify animals visiting them through their pugmarks or footprints and we are maintaining a data base of these details for better management.” Nayak said.
The district’s dry deciduous forests boasts of sloth bears, gaur, leopard, nilgai, sambar, spotted deer, chousinga, porcupine, civet cats, honey badger, raptors like bonnelli’s eagle and crested serpent eagle.