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Tiger Reserve Service Directory
 
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Introduction    

Bandipur Tiger Reserve situated in Mysore District of Karnataka State of India was among the first nine Tiger Reserves created in India at the launch of Project Tiger in 1973. It is contiguous to Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu state to south and Wynad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala state to the south-west.To the north-west lies Nagarhole National Park. The highest peak is Gopalaswamy hill.

The main perennial rivers of the Reserve are Nugu, Kabini and Moyar. The Nugu river flows in the middle of the Reserve. Whereas, the Moyar river forms the southern boundary between this reserve and Madhumalai Wildlife Sanctuary. The Kabini river, across which a major irrigation dam has come up at Beechanahalli, forms the boundary between this Reserve and Nagarhole

National Park of Karnataka. The Kabini reservoir provides water facility and the grazing ground on the foreshore, for hundreds of elephants during severe and prolonged pinch period. Seasonal streams like Wadli, Chammanahalla, Aidasanahattihalla, Hebballa, Warranchi, Chippanahalla and Mavinahalla are also present.

There are a few natural & artificial saltlicks available in the Reserve and are being regularly used by the wild animals. This park is part of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve - the first 'Biosphere Reserve' of India.

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Conservation History       

A Sanctuary of 90 sq. km. area was created in Bandipur Reserve Forest in 1931. Venugopala Wildlife Park was constituted in 1941, extending over 800 sq. km. The Park was named after the deity, Venugopala of the shrine atop this hill.
Bandipur Tiger reserve was formed by including most of the forest area of the then Venugopala Wildlife Park and its sanctum sanctorum at Bandipur, in the year 1973 and named Bandipur National Park.
All the forests included in the Reserve are reserved forests notified prior to independence. Notification for proposed Bandipur National Park was issued in 1985.

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Census    

Animal
1991
1993
1995
1997
 
  Tiger
  58
  66
  74
  75
  Panther
  51
  81
  86
  88
  Elephant
  1107
  2214
  2214
  3471
  Gaur
  1097
  1373
  1373
  2427
  Wild Dog
  148
  181
  181
  --
  Spotted Deer
  3333
  5858
  5858
  8204
  Sambar
  706
  1196
  1196
  2386
  Sloth Bear
  51
  66
  66
  --
  Four horned Antelope
  14
  --
  --
  --
  Common Langur
  1468
  1751
  1751
  --
  Wild Boar
  148
  181
  181
  --
  Barking Deer
  72
  131
  131
  --
  Mouse Deer
  --
  --
  --
  --
  Chital
  --
  --
  --
  8204
  Porcupine
  --
  --
  --
  --

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Archeology   

Venugopala Swami Temples

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Forest Types  

Dry deciduous scrub, Southern tropical/Dry deciduous & Southern Tropical Moist Mixed deciduous forests cover the reserve area.

Major Flora

Main Species

Tectona grandis, Dalbergia latifolia, Pterocarpus marsupium, Adina cordifolia, Grewia tiliaefolia, Amblica officianalis, lagerstroemia lanceolata, Terminalia tomentosa, Anogeisus latifolia, Terminalia chebula, Schleichera trijuga, Odina wodiar, Butea monosperma, Cassia fistula, Dendrcalamus strictus, Bambusa arundinacea,Chloroxylon swetenia, Acacia catechu, Shorea talura, Randia uliginosa

Major Fauna

Main Species

Tiger, Leopard, Elephant, Gaur, Sambar, Spotted deer, Sloth bear, Mouse deer, Wild dog, Four horned Antelope.

Endangered Species

Tiger, Four horned Antelope, Gaur, Elephant, Panther, Sloth bear, Crocodiles, Mouse deer, Python, Osprey, Pea fowl.

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Management  

Practices, Achievements and Shortfalls

The protection measures undertaken against cattle grazing, smuggling of forest produce, forest fires and poaching right from the creation of the Reserve have resulted in improvement of vegetation and multiplication of wild animals. The forest which were once hacked by the local villagers have responded extremely well in the form of spectacular natural regeneration of bamboo and other species with significant improvement in the canopy cover. Improvement of the floral composition supports larger number of wild animals. Gradual increase in the density of wild animals in general and the tigers in particular, natural regeneration of vegetation, improvement of water regimes, microclimate, ecology, environment and reduction in loss of soil run-off are major achievements.

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Special Projects     

Salim Ali Institute of Ornithology (SICON), Comibatore : Habitat changes in the Reserve.

Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore : Man-Animal Conflicts

University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore : Mites.


New Initiatives

Eco-development

To reduce the pressure on the Reserve by the people living adjacent to the park, eco-development works are being carried out in and around the villages situated on the periphery of the Reserve.

Protection Squads / Patrolling

14 patrolling camps have been established to check the poaching of wild animals.

Education and Awareness

Environmental awareness camps for school children and teachers are being conducted regularly.

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Constraints      

Human population

There is no settlement inside the Reserve. 200 villages situated adjacent to the Reserve (within 5 km.) with a human population of around 1,60,000 (1991 census) lead to the problem of illicit collection of fuel wood and smuggling by head loads near Hnagala, Channamalllipur and Bargi. The commercial use of fuel wood for tobacco and turmeric curing is also going up.

Livestock population

The prevalence of illicit grazing in the fringes is by 1,80,000 (1991 census) livestock heads.

Grazing

Core of the reserve is more or less free from grazing pressure but there are 1,80,000 cattle heads in the five-kilometre radius of the Reserve. The prevalence of illicit grazing of livestock from the villages on the periphery of the Reserve affects the habitat and is potential source of diseases for the wild animals. About one third of the Reserve area is affected by cattle and has become unsuitable for the wild herbivore. The elephants, which were in the habit of foraging in the fringe in the rainy season, now visit cultivated areas outside the Reserve for foraging, and thus cause severe conflicts between people and the Reserve. Hence, the problem of cattle grazing is an issue, which needs special attention to resolve the conflict and also to reduce the pressure on the Reserve.


Fire

The Reserve suffers from frequent fires due to accumulated leaf litter and deadwood on the floor. Most of the fires are ground fires and man-made for the following reasons:

1.
Villagers induce early flush of grass, on receipt of showers, for grazing of domestic animals.
2.
Tribals clear the dry grass and undergrowth for collection of fallen antlers of deer and N.T.F.P.
3.
Smoking and carelessly throwing lighted cigarette and bidi butts.
4.
Poachers

Poaching of fauna and flora

The poaching of male elephants for ivory has been a major problem of this Reserve. The local people also connive and sometimes indulge in elephant poaching. Smuggling of timber, small poles and bamboo, and removal of firewood by head-loads is also prevalent.

Poaching of wildlife

Year
Elephants/other animal
 
  1992-93
  11
  1993-94
  22
  1994-95
  4
  1995-96
  1
  1996-97
  --

Offence cases during 1993-98

Nature of Offence cases
No.
   
Elephant Poaching offence 7
Timber Smuggling 280
Sandal Wood Smuggling 1
 
Total 288

Criminals and Extremists

During October 1997, notorious poacher and sandal wood smuggler, Veerappan, kidnapped some staff members and tourists from the tourism zone, who were fortunately released after a fortnight but the threat remains.

Highways

State highways Mysore-Ooty and Gundlupet-Sultanbathery are passing through the Park. Traffic is very heavy and occasional accidents of wild animals take place during night.

Diseases

Localised foot rot to spotted deer was noticed in the tourism zone around Bandipur in 1997.

Weeds

Invasion of habitat by the exotic plants like Lantana and Eupatorium has reduced fodder availability.

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Conflicts     

Man-Animal

Man-Animal conflicts are quite common in the Reserve due to depredation by the wild animals outside the Reserve

Year
Cattle Killed
 
  1993-94
  96
  1994-95
  105
  1995-96
  244
  1996-97
  203
  1997-98
  44

Man-Forest

The park is under tremendous pressure of the problems like grazing, illegal removal of timber, NTFP, poaching of elephants for ivory and other animals for meat, forest fires and encroachment.

Wild Animals-Forest

No serious damage to the forest by wild animals has been observed so far and it is not a cause for concern at present.

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Action Points   

1.
The present policy in National Park needs to be reviewed and management interventions like eradication of exotic weeds in selected patches, removal of fallen timber in the fire lines and view lines, de-silting of waterholes, thinning of teak plantations and sowing of bamboo seeds in suitable areas are needed.
2.
Fire protection needs to be addressed on an intensive scale.
3.
Poaching and smuggling are to be tackled on a war footing by creating more anti-poaching and anti-smuggling camps in vulnerable areas. Allocating infrastructure, arms and ammunition, wireless sets, vehicles and maintenance of road in the interior are important. Creation of Task Force to the Tiger Reserve headed by 1 RFO, 2 Forester, 4 Guards and Watchers with vehicle and wireless sets.
4.
Creation of 190 km. long barrier along the northern border of the Reserve and agriculture lands through ETP and solar powered fencing and prompt payment of compensation for damages to locals should receive top priority. This is the main demand of the people at the village contact meetings. This requires a huge amount of fund.
5.
Anthropogenic pressures need to be addressed effectively through cattle immunisation.
6.
Education and awareness programmes should be intensified through environmental education, nature interpretation centre and mobile publicity van.
7.
Management oriented research should be undertaken.

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Tiger Reserve Service Directory