Blackbuck population increases in Odisha

Bhubaneswar: Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) Wildlife, Sandeep Tripathy today informed that population of blackbucks in the state has registered a slight increase to 4,082.

The annual census of the mammal called ‘Krushnasar Mriga’ in local parlance showed that their numbers have increased to 4,082.

Tripathy said that due to increased focus on conservation, blackbucks’ population has shown a good increase in the last few years.

Sources said the population of the blackbucks was 2,194 during the 2011 census while their number skyrocketed to 3,806 by 2015.

Since the antelopes are prolific breeders, the Forest department has decided to take a number of steps to sustain their population and also mitigate any management issues in the future.

“People may not accept the proliferation of the animal in new areas unlike in Ganjam where they roam freely. As a part of that, we have requested the Wildlife Institute of India to assist us in their proper scientific management while looking at future plans,” Tripathy said.

Secondly, the Forest department has also decided to relocate blackbucks from Ganjam to Puri-Konark Balukhand Sanctuary and Chandaka Wildlife Sanctuary.

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“We have also decided to relocate them to newer areas like Puri Sanctuary and Chandaka where we have decided to develop an open safari for wildlife sightseeing,” he said.

Balukhand-Konark Sanctuary which earlier used to be a favourable breeding ground for the endangered species doesn’t have any blackbucks at present. The Betnoi-Balipadar plains in Ganjam district accounts for the most number of blackbucks.