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Tamil Nadu notifies new wildlife sanctuary

Tamil Nadu notified Cauvery South Wildlife Sanctuary as its 17th sanctuary which will help in conserving elephants, tigers, leopards and several other species of animals (Pic. Courtesy Twitter/@rameshpandeyifs)

Continuing with their efforts to conserve the ecology and wildlife of Tamil Nadu, the Government notified the Cauvery South Wildlife Sanctuary as the State’s 17th wildlife sanctuary.

The sanctuary — covering 68,640 hectares encompasses the reserve forest areas in Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri districts — was notified under Section 26-A of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.

The sanctuary houses 35 species of mammals and 238 types of birds. Among the fauna in the region are Leith’s soft-shelled turtles, marsh crocodiles, smooth coated otters, four horned antelopes, Grizzled giant squirrel, and Lesser Fish Eagle.

These animals in this area survive on the waters of Cauvery River and its riverine forest ecosystem.

The sanctuary is important as it connects the State’s Cauvery North Wildlife Sanctuary with neighbouring Karnataka’s Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary. This will create a large, contiguous network of protected areas for wildlife.

As per the official Press release, this area “has unique ecological, faunal, and floral significance and is also an important elephant habitat in Southern India.”

The sanctuary also provides continuity to the Nilgiri Biosphere through Malai Mahadeshwara Wildlife Sanctuary, Billigiri Rangaswamy Temple Tiger Reserve in Karnataka and Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve and Erode Forest Division of Tamil Nadu.

The new sanctuary is also witnessing a spill-over of tiger conservation in the contiguous areas adjacent to it. The improvement in its habitat will allow it to recover its prey base and help tigers to flourish here as they did in the past. Likewise other large carnivores like leopards too will benefit.

Besides this, two vital and large elephant corridors — the Nandimangalam-Ulibanda Corridor and the Kovaipallam-Anebiddahalla Corridor come under this area.