By Meera Bhardwaj

The Karnataka forest department does it again catching black buck hunters in Siruguppa taluk, Ballari district, Karnataka, India. Regular night patrolling in the dry lands of this taluk has yielded results with 90 per cent reduction in hunting of (schedule 1 species) of black bucks in this region. 

On Wednesday morning at 1.45 am, three people on bikes were chased in Chikkaballari village by Sirguppa forest officials. They were caught red handed with the body of a black buck which was a two and a half year old male. Two of the offenders escaped in the melee while one person – Basava (45) was arrested, a case booked and produced before the court. He was remanded to custody for 15 days for further investigation.

According to Girish, deputy range forest officer, Siruguppa, during their night patrolling, these three locals were found moving around suspiciously. After a chase, they were caught transporting the body of a black buck. He added, “Two of them escaped while one of them fell down. Basava has no previous record of hunting but we are investigating and looking into the antecedents of other members.”

Commending the action taken by forest officials, wildlife activists from Ballari said since DCF Ramesh Kumar took charge, patrolling and surveillance has led to booking of cases and in fact, hunting of black bucks had reduced to a great extent.

The habitat of Siruguppa is an ideal habitat for both black bucks and the Great Indian bustards. However, for the forest officials, it is not an easy job patrolling an area of 300-350 kilometers. Each day, 4-5 members of the anti-poaching camp (3) cover nearly 200 kilometers and they are ever vigilant as this is not a protected area. 

In the last few years, regular patrolling has paid dividend as hunting has come down drastically. Pampanayak, the earlier DRFO informed Green Minute that many hunters were arrested and booked for hunting Indian foxes, peacocks, black naped hares and of course the black bucks. 

This taluk is also the habitat of the elusive Great Indian bustard where forest officials are working to save these birds from extinction. In this regard, CA lands which were purchased by mining companies were handed over to forest department. Recently, 250 acres were marked and fenced for GIB protection.

Forest officials have been holding awareness programs through street plays and this is one method to tell the local people not to hunt black bucks for their meat. However, now and then, a few people have been found hunting and crossing over to Andhra Pradesh as Sirguppa borders Adoni and Kurnool. Local people earlier used to install wire snares in their agricultural fields but regular combing operations have saved many antelopes being killed for their meat.

Comments (1)

  1. very nice and informative article about efforts being made to save
    our flora and fauna.

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