Wild Buffaloes Sighted in Kamalapur Forest Range, Maharashta

The 'Central Indian' Wild Buffalo
Prerna Bindra
Conservationists have been fighting to declare Kopela-Kolamarka a wild buffalo sanctuary.

Eight wild buffaloes in two groups were spotted in Kamalapur Forest Range in Nagpur, by veteran wildlife expert, Mahendrasignh Chouhan. The group had two calves indicating a breeding population. Wild buffaloes are facing extinction and are listed under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. There are demands to declare the area as a buffalo sanctuary. The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, SK Khetrapal, however is not keen on the idea as the area is Naxal infested making it hard for staff to work. He is also apprehensive of resentment from the local population over a status change for the area as they depend on the forest for livelihood.

In India, wild buffaloes are largely restricted to in and around Kaziranga and Manas national parks, Laokhowa Wildlife Sanctuary and Dibru Wildlife Sanctuary in Assam; in and around Namdapha National Park in Arunachal Pradesh. The central Indian population is said to be pure devoid of inbreeding with domestic buffalo. They are found in Madhya Pradesh (in the Indravati National Park and the Udanti Wild Buffalo Sanctuary), Orissa (Pamed and Sunabeda tiger reserve) and Maharashtra (Kopela-Kolamarka forests).

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