Union Minister’s Letter Delays Extension Of Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary Notification

Union minister for corporate affairs, Dr. M. Veerappa Moily has written a letter to the Union environment minister, Jayanthi Natarajan, asking that a decision to include 455.96 sq kms of land with the Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuary, be reconsidered. Wildlife experts and enthusiasts are enraged that this maybe the work of timber and mini-hydel mafias. Moily’s letter states that the inhabitants are in fear of losing their agricultural land. The Joint director of Wildlife has forwarded the letter to the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and the Wildlife Warden, seeking information to convey to the environment minister. This has surprised wildlife activists as they say that the department is well aware that it is including only already declared reserve forests into the sanctuary. Experts consider that the extension of land to Pushpagiri wildlife sanctuary will be helpful in creating a contiguous landscape with the newly declared Kudremukh tiger reserve. The region is rich in fauna and flora and supports several endangered evergreen forests species such as lion-tailed macaques, bengal tiger, travancore cane turtle, great hornbills, brown palm civet etc.

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