1. Road through prime Yellowthroated Bulbul habitat
Dear Nature Lovers,
The latest situation on ground is that the work has come to a halt in the forest area. Noises though, are being made to resume it in the revenue land outside the reserve forest's boundary.
Regarding the above issue, the following is our correspondence with the Forest Department.
Members of WANC visited the site on 2nd June 2002. After oral requests failed to give results, on 6th June I wrote a letter to the DCF (Tumkur Division) with a copy of the relevant Survey of India (SOI) Sheet of 1:50,000 scale. Copy of the letter was marked to the CF (Hassan).
1. We got a reply (in Kannada) from the Range Forest Officer (Tumkur Territorial Range) on 12th June 2002 (No:VA AA KA: TU VA: A. Kra. Dooru: G.L:157:2002-03). He has stated that two cases have been filed (not one as claimed below) against "driver of the Hitachi machine, its owner and convener of the Dharma Darshi committee (of Devarayana Durga Lakshminarasimha Swamy Temple)" who were responsible for the destruction. Again these were filed on 8th and 9th June 2002 (not on 10th)
2. The Conservator of Forests (Hassan), wrote a letter to the DCF (Tumkur) dated 20-06-2002 (No:A3:Sibbandi:Viva 73:2001-02). Drawing the DCF's attention to my letter, he asked the DCF "to inspect the State Forest area that has been felled, the road that has been illegally constructed and to give a report regarding the same in the next correspondence".
3. Again the Hassan CF has written a letter to the Tumkur DCF on 5th August 2002 (No:A3: Sibbandi: Viva- 73: 2001-02). In this letter the CF has acknowledged the DCF's reply regarding this issue and has directed him to send our club the main points of the Action Taken Report and reply to my original letter and to inform his (the CF's) office about this.
Much of the pressure was due to the local media and the letters sent by nature lovers from across the globe in response to our e-campaign. This includes one letter all the way from Cyprus! Facts from WANC's Status Survey report on Devarayana Durga (DD) forests and the Book on Medicinal Plants of Devarayana Durga Forests by Guru Prasad of WANC and Harish Bhat of CES and also the publicity of DD's Tiger helped very much.
Some other issues of this forest are:
1. Deforestation for fuelwood and fodder collection is going on unabated.
2. Overgrazing and uncontrolled influx of cattle has lead to soil erosions in large scales.
3. Forest fires are common in dry seasons.Fires are built by villagers so that they can reach deep into the forest to chop firewood and also get frsh grass for their cattle in the coming season. There is also a myth that fires are a offering to the reignig diety of the hills.
4. There is no clear cut boundary for the State Forest and this has increased the encroachment on the periphery of the forest.
5. Planting of exotic species of trees like Eucalyptus are depriving the growth of native flora.
6. Poaching of Birds and Animals using traps and shotguns.
6. As a result of this, the population of Hares and Partridges been affected.Also this has led to the the extinction of larger prey species like Spotted Deer and Sambar.Due to the lack of prey ,the Leopard may be the center of man-animal conflict in future.
7. Quarrying on the hillocks are the potential threat to the ecology of the forest. It is directly affecting the habitat of the endangered species like the Shahin Falcon and the endemic species the Yellow-throated Bulbul.
8. Unchecked movement of vehicular traffic, especially the heavy trucks are distirbing the wild life.
9. Tamarind trees auctioned for harvesting, the bidders have free access to the forest and move about poaching small games.
10. The latest and most dangerous threat is the Plastic diposal. Plastic carry bags, plastic cups, Snacks covers are spreading every where.