Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Blackbuck Population on the Rise

It is time to pat some backs and spread the good news as one of the Schedule I endangered species of India- the Blackbucks have shown a 10 percent rise in their population in a survey taken on 30-31 January at Velavadar Black Buck National Park in Bhavnagar, Gujarat.

According to forest department officials, there were 3,950 blackbucks reported, which is 10 per cent higher than 2005's census figure of 3,590.

To add to the good news is the fact that 2,308 of the Blackbucks have been reported to be from the ecological zones, outside the National Park and the highly protected area.

"Apart from the flagship species, that is the blackbuck; Indian grey wolf and striped hyena were also sighted here more than often. In this landscape, wolves are apex predators. Wolves rely primarily on blackbucks in this area for food, which constitute about 80 to 90 per cent of their diet. The park also supports good population of striped hyena. The hyenas are considered scavengers. The presence of these animals is the indicator of health of ecological system," said assistant conservator of forest JS Solanki at the National Park.

The park definitely needs commendation for its efforts as it is the same area where the Blackbuck population had once diminished to just 200. Locals in the area believe that the rise is due to the better understanding of the human-animal relationship and continued efforts by the forest department in protecting the wild animals.

Image Credit
Flickr photo by pranav

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