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Karnataka: Ramanagara faces wildlife threat as severe drought fuels forest wildfires

Severe water scarcity in Ramanagara district's forests, exacerbated by scorching temperatures and lack of rainfall, pushes wildlife to the brink of survival. Animals venture into human settlements, causing conflicts, while rare species face extinction. Efforts to mitigate the crisis are underway, but public criticism mounts against the perceived inaction of the forest department. 

Karnataka: Ramanagara faces wildlife threat as severe drought fuels forest wildfires vkp
First Published Apr 17, 2024, 4:34 PM IST

The scorching sun has turned once lush forests into parched lands, pushing wildlife in Ramanagara district to the brink of survival as lakes and wells dry up, leaving animals and birds desperate for water and food. Ramanagara district, bordered by forest reserves like Ramanagara Regional Division, Bannerghatta National Park, and Kaveri Wildlife Sanctuary Division, is witnessing a dire situation as the relentless heat drains water sources. With forests turning barren and wildlife struggling to find sustenance, villagers along the edge of the forests live in fear as animals venture into human settlements in search of water and food.

The plight of animals and birds is heart-wrenching. With no rain to fill water sources, wildlife is facing severe scarcity, compounded by rising temperatures. The absence of monsoon and post-monsoon rains has left lakes and dams dry, leaving no respite for creatures in need.

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The receding water levels have forced animals to venture into urban areas, further exacerbating the crisis. Rare species that once thrived in the forest are now on the brink of extinction, their habitats disappearing as water sources vanish.

As rainfall diminishes each year, forest lakes and dams fail to reach their capacity, leaving scant water reserves that quickly deplete, leaving animals without vital hydration. Tragically, this water shortage has led to the death of several animals, including two elephants and a peacock. Elephants, driven by thirst and hunger, have raided farmlands, destroying crops and equipment. Farmers living near the forest are facing immense losses, with government compensation offering little relief.

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Efforts to alleviate the suffering of wildlife are underway, with measures such as refilling forest lakes and drilling bore wells. However, public outrage is mounting as the forest department faces criticism for its perceived inaction in providing adequate water for wildlife, especially during times of crisis.

The onset of summer has also brought forest fires, compounding the challenges faced by wildlife. As animals flee to villages in search of water, many succumb to the flames, further decimating their populations.

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