Posts filed under ‘Wildlife Sanctuary’

Harishankar park a death trap for deer; will this happen in Nandankanan?

Following is a report by TOI:

BALANGIR: Come summer and Harishankar deer park in the district turns into a hell hole for its inhabitants. Nine deer have died this season in the park so far due to dehydration and alleged malnutrition. The forest department, which is in charge of the deer park, a tourist hotspot, has been oblivious to the plight of the hapless animals living in miserable conditions.

Almost every year there are reports of deer deaths in the park, which shoots up during summer. In 2007 seven deer reportedly died due to pneumonia. Seven more had died in 2004-05. Between 2008 and 2009, there were reports of five deer deaths due to malnutrition, while in 2010 and 2011, 11 deer died due to poor hygienic conditions in the park. Investigation by the forest department later revealed that one deer died due to old age while others died young due to lack of health care and proper nutrition. In the last five years altogether 39 deer have died in the park.

The Harisankar deer park, set up in 1971 on 1.50 acre land with just eight deer, now resembles an abandoned cattle house. “It is unfortunate that the park could neither be saved nor revived though the local MLA was twice minister of tourism,” said Jhasketan Naik of Khaprakhol.

According to sources, the government provides only 1.60 kg of fodder for 197 deer in the park per day, which is much less than the requirement. The deer are provided leaves and branches from the Gandhamardan forest to meet their food requirement.

Balangir divisional forest officer (DFO) Abhiram Naik admitted that the park is too small to accommodate about two hundred animals. “We have written to authorities to take half of the deer to other places,” the DFO said.

He said every year the state government provides only Rs 2 lakhs for the park, which is not sufficient. “The park is running only on state government aid as central government has not granted park status to the Harisankar park,” the DFO said.


May 14, 2012 at 1:46 am Leave a comment

Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary

Following report is from Telegraph: 

Bhubaneswar, Oct. 24: If you want to know how nature helps human beings in getting formulae for herbal cure at close proximity, then Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary in Sambalpur district could be the next stop for you.

Not only ethno-botanical healing trends, but also Badrama, popularly called as Ushakohi, is famous for its animals, birds, wild mushrooms and the virgin sal and teak forests.

However, its native people and their traditional knowledge to heal common ailments for ages is the mainstay. Even today, a dry deciduous forest, which is vulnerable to forest fire, could retain its greenery through community participation.

Forest department officials in this region have also given due recognition to people’s role in effective conservation and sustainable management practices. Besides the flagship species — elephant which has been declared national heritage animal by the environment and forests ministry — one can spot leopards, tigers, spotted deer hyena and wild boar in the wilderness.

But the beauty of the forest spread is attractive and one can watch them from watchtowers, two at Kutab village and the third one at Pathuri. Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary is nestled in Bamra Wildlife Division of Sambalpur district with an area of 304.03 sqkm, including core area31.28 sqkm (Ushakothi Reserve Forest – 200.68 sqkm, Badrama Reserve Forest – 57.97 sq km, Binjhapalli Reserve Forest – 16.73 sq km and others – 28.65 sq km).

It is 40 km from Sambalpur town on NH-6.The sanctuary has a hilly terrain and is continuous with Khalasuni Sanctuary in the south. There are 172 villages (including hamlets) and 225 revenue villages inside the sanctuary with a population of around 3,000. Almost all are forest dependent tribal communities.

The vegetation is moist sal bearing forest and moist mixed deciduous forest at many places. The single forest rest house (FRH) at Badrama has four suites and the food is also available with expert chefs deployed by the forest department.

There are two perennial streams which provides water for the wild animals throughout the year. One is near Ushakothi, which is 33km from Badrama, FRH on forest road and the other is Deojharan which is 35km from Badrama FRH towards Kutab.

A biodiversity survey was carried out by social service organisation Vasundhara with the joint support of Badrama Wildllife Division and Badrama Abhayaranya Bikas Parishad, a self-help group.

Before that there were no published records available on the status of flora and fauna.

The survey was carried out in June, 2010 which resulted in documenting 220 species of flowering plants including 50 species for medicinal uses, 14 species of wild edible mushrooms, 15 species of mammals, 20 species of butterflies, 30 species of birds, 10 species of amphibians and 12 ologist Prasad Kumar Dash and wildlife biologist Pratyush Mohapatra,who conducted the survey said, “the sanctuary needs to be thoroughly explored to know the existing status of taxonomic novelties. The wildlife of the sanctuary, besides the big animals also include barking deer, sambar, mouse deer, chitals and giant squirrels.’’

“Badrama is rich in traditional knowledge as most of the villagers depend on herbal medicines to cure their diseases and ailments like tuberculosis, jaundice, fever, nephritis, headache, dehydration, common cold, cough and chest pain. The plants used for the purpose are Melia Azadirachta(garuda), Aeilanthus excelsa (mahanimb), Holarrhenaantidysenterica (kurei), Alangium salvifolium (ankula), Atylosia scarabaeoides (banakolatha), Elephantapus scaber (eayura chulia), Carya arborea (kumbhi), Nyctanthes arboritristis (gotikhadika),Occimum sanctum (tulsi) and Ricinus communis (jada),’’ they informed.

The villagers of Kutab with the support of the forest department are being instrumental in protecting 1,200 hectares of forest area from fire in the summer of 2010. This has resulted in very good regeneration of seedlings and saplings of many economic and rare plants of the sanctuary.

Laxman Parua, president, Forest Protection Committee, said: “The prevention of forest fire has helped in natural regeneration of plants such as kendu, bija, sal, harida, bahada, amla and char along with 14 varieties of wild edible mushrooms and many medicinal herbs in their community assessed forest areas.’’

Another young activist Srikar Padhan, who is the secretary of the Forest Protection Committee, said: “The protection of forest against fire has helped in rejuvenating the small streams with the deposition of huge amount of leaf litters on the forest floor.”

He also expressed his satisfaction about the increase availability of elephant fodder plants in Kutab and Tansara after fire protection. This self-initiated forest protection has drawn the attention of the forest department, Badrama Wildlife Sanctuary and the Range Officer has joined hands with the local communities of Kutab to provide small incentives to strengthen future efforts. Dushmanta Pradhan of Badrama Abhayaranya Vikas Parishad said, “Favourite fodder plants of elephants and especially bamboo varieties attract elephants here. Though the water sources are limited, they never create any problem for the elephant population. There are more than 124 species of elephant fodders in the forest. From tourism point of view many caves are also found near Ushakothi, Deojharan and Satpahad. However, despite managing forest fire, things like spread of weeds in the forest area is a thing to worry about.’’

A senior forest official said: “Badrama, which was notified as a sanctuary on December 17, 1987 represents a beautiful landscape and attention is also given to take de-weeding measures. We are having many pro-people projects to help prepare a sustainable management strategy for the forests, medicinal varieties and wild animals.’’


● Area: 304.03 sqkm in Sambalpur district

● Major forest species: Sal, teak and bamboo

● Temperature : Winter around 10°C and summer 45°C

● Tourist season: October – April

● What to see : Elephants, leopard, tigers, spotted deer, hyena, wild boar, 220 species of flowering plants, 50 species of medicinal herbs, 14 species of wild edible mushrooms, 20 species of butterflies, 30 species of birds, 10 species of amphibians and 12 species of snakes

● How to reach: The forest is 48km from Sambalpur town

● From other places: 4200km from Rourkela via Bonai-Barkot, 180km via 4Bamra-Kuchinda-Jamankira route and 217km from via Jharsuguda-Sambalpur route

● Nearest railhead: Sambalpur

● Nearest airport: Bhubaneswar airport is 250 km and Raipur 300 km from Sambalpur


● Here is another report on Badrama: Badrama Abhayaranya Vikas Parishad


● A you tube video on Badrama:

January 27, 2012 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

Solar fencing of Barpahad reserve forest, Sonepur still incomplete

Following report is from The Telegraph:

Balangir, June 23: The ambitious project of solar fencing, taken up by Sonepur forest division in the Barpahad reserve forest to minimise human-animal conflict, has run into troubled waters as the project remains incomplete even after a year of its launch.

Taking advantage of the open space, herds of elephants are still venturing into villages that border the forest, often causing damage to life and property. Residents of these villages bordering the Barpahad forest allege elephants were often found straying into the villages in search of food and water through the open space where the solar fencing has not been done.

Sonepur forest range sources said that the solar fencing had been taken up along the 102km perimeter of the Barpahad reserve forest early last year and 49km of solar fencing work had been completed. However work on the remaining 53km could not be done because of a fund crunch leaving the area open for elephants to stray into nearby villages.

“The elephants are eying the water bodies of the village this summer and the local residents are not allowing old persons and women to go to the village pond to fetch water,” Ramjee Sa, a member of the Vana Surakshya Samiti (VSS), said.

Loisingha forest officer Sankirtan Nag said that a herd of 25 elephants, which were earlier in Barapahar forest, were now roaming in the villages of the Loisingha forest area causing widespread fear. “The elephants frequent the ponds during daytime and settle near the water bodies after sunset,” Nag said. Though they have been receiving complaints from the villagers, they can do little in the absence of technical knowledge to handle the elephants.

The villagers have been facing this problem for the past few weeks. This comes at a time when there is severe water crisis. The villagers are now depending on wells and bore-wells, which are drying up fast. Light showers in the last few days have failed to help much.

Divisional forest officer (DFO) of Balangir Raj Kishor Sahu admitted that elephants from Barpahad were straying into the adjoining villages through the areas where solar fencing have not been taken up. “I have sent a proposal to take up 27km of solar fencing of the Barpahad forest that fall in the Balangir division. There would not have been any problem had fencing been taken up in both the divisions simultaneously,’’ the DFO said.

Spread over 4658.70 hectares, Barpahad reserve forest in Sonepur district is home to 28 elephants, says the forest department.

June 24, 2011 at 3:23 pm Leave a comment

Hirakud plays host to fewer migratory birds

Following is from the

SAMBALPUR: Call it climate change or impact of industrialisation on the periphery of Hirakud dam reservoir, there has been a drastic reduction in the arrival of migratory birds to the reservoir under Hirakud wildlife division during this winter season.

As winter sets in, migratory birds come down to the reservoir, one of the places for their suitable ensconce. Thousands of birds of various species migrate every year and stay for four months till  February-end before flying back in the first week of March.

The winged guests from far-flung areas including Caspian Sea, Biakal Lake, Aral Sea, Mongolia, Central and South East Asia and Himalayan region flock to the reservoir in the first week of November every year for the winter sojourn. The winged guests stay for about five months at the reservoir which forms the largest artificial lake in Asia with an area of 746 sq km and a shoreline of over 640 km.

Contrary to preceding years, the number of migratory birds descending on the reservoir is almost reduced to half. It is learnt that only a few migratory birds have come down to the reservoir to the dismay of wildlife officers and bird lovers.

As per available reports, over 21,160 migratory birds of about 27 species had flown from far-flung areas to the reservoir as per census in January, 2010. However, their number has come down to 10,722 during the last month census.

As many as 20 to 25 species of birds are seen in the reservoir and common among them are Common Pochard, Red Crested Pochard, Great Duck Bill, Spot Bill (Grey Duck), Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Pond Heron, Painted Stork, Whiskered Tern, Indian River Tern, Gadwall and

Red Wattled Lapwing and Black Winged Stilt.

While the declining number of birds has been a cause of concern for bird lovers, it has become a challenge for the Wildlife Department. Although the cause is yet to be ascertained, it is said to be the result of climate change, massive industrialisation and resultant sound and water pollution.


February 13, 2011 at 8:56 am Leave a comment

Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary of Nuapada district

Western Orissa is home to many beautiful places. However, the Orissa govt. is promoting tourism only in the coastal belt of Orissa. Like many other sectors the tourism industry of western Orissa is in a sorry state. Thanks to Orissa govt.!  

Following is from The Telegraph:

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 12: The Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary in Nuapada district has a beautiful blend of history, archaeological treasures, wildlife, rock formations, waterfalls and forest ranges rich with rare and endangered species of flora and fauna.

Once the epicentre of the Koshala kingdom, the Maraguda valley near the sanctuary today stands testimony to the past with its archaeological remains. The table-top hill of Sunabeda has rich bauxite deposits.

The valley, below the Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary along the Jonk river, has brick structures that date back to the time of the Koshala kingdom.

Legend has it that the rulers of the Kalacheri dynasty, who hailed from the Jabalpur area, came to Tripur (also called Sripur) and the Maraguda valley was their territory then. While historian Navin Kumar Sahu has referred to the fact that the area could have been ruled by the Nala dynasty during the sixth and the seventh century, many historians also feel that the excavated remains of the valley belonged to the era between the ninth and 12th century AD.

“Many historical remains may have been submerged under the waters of the Patora dam (Upper Jonk Medium Irrigation Project).

“Historians claimed that the rulers of the Ganga dynasty, who ruled the coastal, central and eastern parts of Kalinga, had frequent battles with the rulers of the Kalacheri dynasty. King Ananga Bhima Dev III had attacked the Kalacheris and his son-in-law Paramadri Dev was killed in the battle.

“Finally, during the rule of Narasingha Dev I, the western part of Kalinga came under the rulers of the Ganga dynasty,” said archaeologist B.K. Rath.

Apart from its historic saga, the sanctuary, spread over 600 sq km, has two beautiful waterfalls amidst the ancient rock formation— Goudhus and Beniadhus. While there was a forest rest house in Goudhus, the eco-development committee near the Patora dam and the Jogeswar Temple of Shiva are the major attractions in the area.

Reaching Sunabeda has now become very easy from Bhubaneswar by the Puri-Durg Intercity Express, which starts from Bhubaneswar at 7.15pm and reaches around 7.30 am the next morning at Nuapada, the district headquarters town.

From Nuapada, the train departs at 7.15pm and reaches Bhubaneswar the following morning at 7.30am.

Because of Maoist attacks, the forest rest houses are no longer habitable, so one has to stay at any hotel in Khariar Road, 12km from Nuapada.

Divisional forest officer (DFO) Biswa Ranjan Rout said: “The recent activists of rebels have affected the inflow tourists.”

Ecologist Prasad Dash said: “The sanctuary falls in the western fringe of Orissa. There are three ranges— Nuapada, Komna, and Sunabeda —and the region is the catchment area of rivers Indra, Jonk and Son.

The altitude of the area is ranges from 727metre to 1000 metre (Chouradongar) and there are 52 villages inside the sanctuary and 167 villages in the buffer zone.

The forest land is characterised by a series of long hill ranges.

Apart from three major rivers, the valleys are criss-crossed by nine major streams, 12 waterfalls and two springs. There are teak forests, amidst which there is a significant presence of animals like tigers, leopards, gaurs and nilgais.

Sunabeda Wildlife Sanctuary has an excellent bio-diversity and an unique eco-system. It has the potential for great tourist attraction due to the wilderness in its natural condition, waterfalls, historical monuments and architectural ruins.

The tract is an excellent research laboratory for the study of conservation biology of wild animals.

To combat the environmental menace of Parthenium (Parthenium hysteroporus, the worst weed of the millennium), voluntary organisation Art of Living, along with Bhanja Sansad of Sunabeda, has launched an ecological drive.

Researcher and local nature activist Duryodhan Majhi said: “The sanctuary meets the sustainable livelihood of local inhabitants. It serves as a centre of conservation, education and nature interpretation for people. It tremendously influences the micro-climate of the area and checks soil erosion and siltation in agricultural lands. The presence of around 10 per cent grassland and wetland ecosystems help in providing residential region for migratory birds. The presence of hot springs at Chandrasil and Checheradongor are also major attractions.”

Another important feature of the sanctuary is that the Chukutia Bhunjia tribals living there protect different forest patches in terms of their sacred sights on clan-based living which supports the tiger population and could be assumed as a very common effort to conserve the big cats.

“Bird watching at Maraguda, animal sighting near Borra, Bankiam, Datunama, Goudhus and Jamgaon, the presence of scenic landscapes in the form of waterfalls like Goudhus, Beniadhus, the presence of a reservoir and Rajiv Udyan at Patora help tourists relax. The wilderness at Kholibhitar, Beniadhus, Patdarha, Maraguda-Beniadhus stretch and Rasna are also to be experienced during a visit,” Majhi said.

The ecological boundary does not coincide with the legal boundary in the reserved area.

The issues of rights of people are yet to be settled and illicit felling, poaching, uncontrolled grazing, ground fire, man-animal conflict, fragmentation of corridor, lack of awareness, inadequate human resources and logistics, incentives for conservation and protection are to be addressed.

Though incidence of insect-attack and pathological problems are less, change in land use pattern, poaching, scarcity of water during summer are some areas to be looked into.

December 13, 2010 at 2:18 pm 1 comment

Hirakud waits for migratory birds

Following is a report by

SAMBALPUR: Unlike previous years, there has been a delay in arrival of migratory birds to the Hirakud dam reservoir (HDR) this winter.

As winter sets in, migratory birds come down to HDR in large numbers.

Thousands of birds of different varieties migrate to this reservoir and stay for four months till February-end before flying back in the first week of March.

The winged guests from far-flung areas including the Caspian Sea, Biakal Lake, the Aral Sea, Mongolia, Central and South East Asia and Himalayan region flock to the reservoir in the first week of November every year for the winter sojourn.

The reservoir is the largest artificial lake in Asia with an area of 746 sq km and a shoreline of over 640 km.

Contrary to the trend in previous years, sufficient number of migratory birds are yet to descend on the reservoir this time.

Only a few migratory birds have come down to the HDR in the third week of this month much to the dismay of wildlife officials and bird lovers.

As per reports, over 21,000 migratory birds of about 27 varieties had flown into HDR last year whereas only a few birds of at least two varieties have reportedly been seen till date during the current year.

Nearly 20-25 species of birds are seen in the reservoir and common among them are Common Pochard, Red Crusted Pochard, Great Duck Bill, Spot Bill (Grey Duck), Great Crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Pond Heron, Painted Stork, Whiskered Tern, Indian River Tern, Gadwall and Red Wattled Lapwing and Black Winged Stilt.

Normally, the winged guests ensconce in Zero Point in Burla, Pitapali, Rampela, Budakanta, Launch Station, Balbaspur in Sambalpur district, Ubuda, Marang, Bhatlikanta, Desar, Ganakhulia, Unneishkhanda Mauza in Jharsuguda and Tamdei Rengali, Govindpur, Barduma in Ambhabhona block of Bargarh district.

On the declining trend, Assistant Conservator of Forest (wildlife) Samir Mitra said the cold is yet to completely set in the region which might be one of the reasons behind the delay.

More and more birds are likely to descend on the reservoir in the next 15 to 20 days, he added.

November 28, 2010 at 6:15 pm Leave a comment

A.U. Singhdeo and the 40-year-old Harisankar Deer Park

Following is a report from the Telegraph (reported by Sudeep Kumar Guru from Balangir):

Balangir, Oct. 3: The 40-year-old Harisankar Deer Park located at the foothills of Gandhamardan hills, around 80km from here, has fallen prey to apathy on part of the district administration and political will.

There are around 201 deer left under an unhygienic condition. Six deer have died due to want of fodder in the last two years.

The deer park was set up in 1971 over 1.50 acres of land with a view to drawing tourists at Harisankar. In the beginning, the park used to house eight deer along with other species such as blue bull, bear, leopards and peacocks. Soon the park became a popular tourist spot as it happened to be the only one in the western part of the state at that time.

The popularity of the deer park prompted the authority to develop a similar one — Gandhamardan Deer Park — on five acres after two years.

Gandhamardan too had deer blue bull, bear and leopards.

However, maintenance of Gandhamardan later became a tough task for the authority due to paucity of funds. Some animals of the park were shifted to Nandankanan while several other fell prey to poachers. The last animal of the park was killed around 10 years ago.

Locals lament closure of the park. “The park could neither be saved nor revived despite A.U. Singhdeo, a political heavyweight from the district, becoming the tourism minister twice in the recent past,” said Radheshyam Sahu of nearby Khaprakhole village.

At present, Gandhamardan park lies abandoned while Harisankar languishes due to space constraint. The park now houses 201 deer. Lack of space hinders free movement of animals inside the park and incidents of deer dying here have become a routine affair.

Sources said the state government provided 1.60kg of fodder everyday for each deer, which is far less than what is required. The animals are supplied leaves and branches of trees collected from the Gandhamardan forest to meet their food requirement.

Divisional forest officer (DFO) of Balangir R.K. Sahu admitted that the park was too small to accommodate 201 animals. “The park is running only on state government aid as the Centre has not granted park status to Harisankar. We have asked authorities to shift half of the deer to other places,” he said.

“The state government provides only Rs 2 lakh annually which is not sufficient to maintain the park,” he said.

October 5, 2010 at 7:44 am 1 comment

Ecologists find large population of otters

Expressbuzz, Dec 21, 2009
BHUBANESWAR: After reporting several species of plants for the first time in the State from Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary, ecologists have found out oriental small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus) from the protected forests in Kalahandi district.

A key species in wetland environment, otters are recognised as one of the top predators of freshwater ecosystem and there are 13 species distributed worldwide. In India Aonyx cinereus is seen from Himachal Pradesh to Assam hill ranges and in some parts of Tamil Nadu and Kerala down south.

In order to formulate a conservation strategy for the species a survey was undertaken recently by Vasundhara to find out the current status, distribution and the role of local communities in their protection and conservation of otters.

According to researcher Himanshu Sekhar Palei, the species has been reported for the first time in Orissa and from Karlapat in particular.

During the study animal signs in the form of spraints were found deposited along river banks, the majority being spotted in Karlapat stream as the water depth was maximum and flow rate was minimum. Except Kiapadar and Sagada stream all other rivers showed positive signs ranging from 50 to 100 per cent, he added.

Though otters are susceptible to habitat degradation, change in water quality, forest fire, haunting and fishing they can still be protected through community conservation initiatives and it is evident from the study that local communities are really helping in protecting and conserving otters in Karlapat.

The survey has found a healthy population of small-clawed otters in 16 streams of the sanctuary. Earlier, the animals were poached for their skin and fur. However, some local communities have started worshipping them as protectors of aquatic ecosystem. On the other hand, since these animals are not competing with locals for fish, the research team believes that the otters can co-exist with the human beings in the same ecosystem.

Another interesting part of the study, according to Palei is, otters also prefer crabs and the tribes of Betkot believe that if anyone eats otter, his/her body will not be decomposed even after death.

December 21, 2009 at 5:41 pm Leave a comment

Four new species of flowering plants found in Karlapat sanctuary of Kalahandi

Following is a report from

Pancriatum parvum

Good news for plant lovers and conservationists. Researchers have found four species of flowering plants for the first time in the State from Karlapat Wildlife Sanctuary of Kalahandi district.

Apart from these angiosperms, the team involved in a bio-diversity documentation project has also found out nine species of bryophytes and one edible mushroom.

Karlapat is one of the important bio-diversity-rich protected areas in the Eastern Ghats which influences the climate of the drought-prone Kalahandi district. During the period from November 2007 to December 2008, inventory, mapping and documentation of biodiversity of the wildlife sanctuary was undertaken.

While the four species of angiospermic plants include Corallodiscus lanuginose, Limnanthimum parviflora, Salvinia elegans and Pancriatum parvum, the edible mushroom is called Dictyophora indusiata. Earlier, the mushroom was only reported from the Himalayan ecological region.

According to plant ecologist Prasad Kumar Dash, all these flowering plant species and bryophytes were reported for the first time from Karlapat and regarded as a new distributional record for the Eastern Ghats flora. They were earlier reported from Western Ghats i.e. Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. Similarly 12 plant species found to be used by the local communities to cure different diseases and ailments within the sanctuary was another important aspect of the study.

The bryophyte species include Plagiochasma appendiculatum, Heteroschyphus argutus, Marchantia palmata, Dumortiera hirsuta, Bryum argentium, Funaria hygrometrica, Asterella angusta, Riccardia levierii and Herpetoneuron toccoi, Dash said.

Currently, the team of researchers comprising plant and wildlife experts are making a survey to go for an inventory and later they would take up a detailed ecological analysis including ethno-anthropogenic studies of the entire area, he added.

December 11, 2009 at 3:52 pm Leave a comment



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