Wild animals return to Kinnerasani Sanctuary as Forest Dept clears encroachments

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An area of 716 Hectares, once encroached by non-tribals, in Kinnerasani Wildlife Sanctuary in Chatakonda Reserved Forest falling in  Chintonichilaka locality (Gundlamadugu beat, Gattumalla section, Chatakonda range) in Khammam district has now turned into an abode for the wild animals now. 

It was a Success story on Indian Gaur back to Chintoni Chilka area falling in Kinnerasani Wildlife sanctuary by the Telangana Forest Department that retrieved the area from the encroachers during the year 2014-15 duly evicting all the non-tribal and tribal encroachers. And today it has now been developed into an Eco-restoration area for the last few years with CAMPA bio-diversity funds and BIOSAT funds.

Several attempts were made to re-encroach the land but due to a strong will to restore the wildlife habitation and dedicated efforts of the staff they are is well protected and almost restored. The adjacent of this site is Kothagudem territorial division where also encroachments have existed which also removed and restored with afforestation works.

The entire site was protected by a peripheral trench of 2×2 Mtrs in 5.5 Kms and chain link fence initially. Protective pores were opened in the deep jungle side which prevents the movement of cattle into the site but permits entry of wild animals into the protected site. Later  The entire stretch was daily perambulated by the base camp watchers and frequently the senior officers used to visit the site to monitor the protection status.  Several Habitation improvement works were taken up here. Initially, after the area is retrieved back to the department, Base camp was set up in the centre of the 716 Ha area. Then Solar borewell was dug out and linked with a percolation tank. Then grasslands/fodder plots were developed. Assisted natural Regeneration and de-weeding and cleaning operations were taken up. The base camp was burned by the encroachers and solar panels were broken down here.

The small herds of Bison and started visiting the area along with other herbivorous like Spotted Deers, Sambar, Wildbore, Neelgaietc from the year 2015-16. During the year 2015-16, (65) Nos. of Spotted Deers are released brought from Vanastalipuram and Sameerpeta of Hyderabad. As a result of protection efforts, now the status of Indian Gaur movement was trapped in the cameras on April 4 which can be seen in the photograph captured.

Movement of Big herds of Indian Gaur and very healthy calves, as well as adults, is a conclusion of the success story of encroachment retrieval and subsequent protection, habitation improvement works taken up during the last 5 years etc., The entire outer periphery to this site is a Kothagudm territorial division, where also a lot of encroached area was retrieved systematically and afforested and protected.

The Kinnerasani Wildlife Sanctuary was notified during 1999. The existing forest was the part of Dandakaranya where Lord Rama has spent part of his Aranyavasa in this part of the forest. The holy river Godavari flows middle of the forest, the river Kinnerasani is a tributary of Godavari by name Kinnerasani flowing through and drain into the Godavari. Hence, it was named as Kinnerasani sanctuary.