Blackbuck are endemic to the Indian subcontinent grasslands.
Grasslands were once wide spread across the Deccan Plateau. Today they are reduced to a few patches due to the immense pressure for various purposes including cultivation, cattle grazing, human habitation etc.
Blackbuck,once wide spread across the Indian sub-continent from the foothills of Himalayas to Kanyakumari; with a one time population estimated over 40 lakh. Due to immense pressures of large scale poaching and destruction of their habitat, today they survive, only in a few isolated pockets scattered across the country, with their population estimated not more than 30,000. Among these isolated patches of grasslands with blackbuck is Maidenahalli or Mydanahalli, offically known as Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve after River Jayamangali that originates in Tumkur District and flows to the east of the reserve.
About Jayamangali (Maidenahalli) Reserve
Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve neighbours Maidenahalli, a small village in Madhugiri Taluk, at the north-eastern tip of Tumkur district of Karnataka state. This area is a part of the plains of Deccan plateau and borders Anantpur District of Andhra Pradesh. It is an seven hundred and ninety eight acre patch of grassland planted with eucalyptus and Acacia auriculiformis (jaali or Bellary jaali or kari jaali in Kannada and Babool or Kikar in Hindi/ Urdu). Apart from Jayamangali blackbuck reserve, a few herds of blackbuck are found scattered through the eastern parts of Karnataka. But the largest population of blackbuck in Karnataka, apart from Ranibennur sanctuary, is found at Jayamangali blackbuck reserve.
Tumakuru’s nature lovers worked hard to have this area granted the status of a protected area, like a wildlife sanctuary. The first ever status survey report on the area was authored by Ameen Ahmed and Dr.U.V.Singh, IFS, with members of the Tumakuru-based Wildlife Aware Nature Club (WANC) in 1997. This helped the wildlife wing of Karnataka Forest Department to source data on this area and recommend it be declared a 'Conservation Reserve'.
The Government of
Karnataka accepted this proposal and 798.33 acres of the area was
finally notified as Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve, in
February 2007 vide Govt No: FEE 342 FWL 05 (though the original area
proposed to be included in this Conservation Reserve was 893 acres).