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Thursday, December 1, 2022

Alert: If lumpy disease spreads, a wildlife crisis looms in Rajasthan

Lumpy disease symptoms spotted in Jodhpur’s deer

Sawai Madhopur— The spread of lumpy disease (a skin disease) in wildlife is bringing back memories of the Corona period. After spreading outwards from the districts of western Rajasthan, the disease has been knocking at the doors of Jaipur and Ajmer districts of eastern Rajasthan. The wildlife is also falling prey to it. If the disease is not controlled in time, the day is not far when both the livestock and wildlife across the state will be gripped by it.

If not controlled, a wildlife crisis looming

If the fast-spreading lumpy disease in bovine livestock is not controlled soon, then the free-roaming wildlife in more than 34 national parks, tiger projects, and sanctuaries in the state will also be affected. Symptoms of the disease have been observed in deer in Jodhpur district. Not only is this worrying news for wildlife lovers, but if the wildlife become infected with lumpy disease,it will also impact government revenue.

Forest Department too busy!

When The Mooknayak spoke to Rajasthan’s Forest and Environment Secretary, Venkatesh Sharma, about the measures being taken to protect wildlife from lumpy disease, he denied being aware of the issue. Efforts were made to talk to Forest and Environment Minister Hemaram Choudhary, but he could not be contacted. When we approached the District Forest Officer of Ranthambore Project Tiger reserve, he said he was busy attending some training in Dehradun.

A tiger
A tiger

A threat forProject Tiger

Ranthambore National Park is located in Sawai Madhopur district, and the tiger, sambar deer, spotted deer [chital deer], bear, nilgai [bluebuck, a kind of antelope], jarakh [striped hyena] and chinkara [Indian gazelle] are prominently spotted here. This Park is India’s smallest tiger reserve, but it is said to be the home of Indian tigers. There are village settlements along its outskirts in all directions. The main source of livelihood of the villagers living here is agriculture and animal husbandry. In the rainy season, when the fields are covered with crops, instances of cattle and wildlife roaming around the area keep occurring. If a lumpy-infected animal enters the Project Tiger reserve, the possibility of a threat to the wildlife here cannot be ruled out.

Bird sanctuary also not safe

Keoladeo National Park or Keoladeo Ghana National Park in Bharatpur district is home to thousands of rare and critically endangered species of birds, such as the Siberian crane, which migrate here during the winter season. TheMukundra Hills National Park was formed by bringing together Darra Sanctuary and Jawahar Sagar Sanctuary in Kota district. Sambar and spotted deer, nilgai and wild boar are found in its vicinity. Kota’sNational Chambal Wildlife Sanctuary is also part of the Mukundra Hills National Parkanda popular [destination] for gharials (a crocodile with long and narrow snouts). Wild boar, leopards and deer are found here.

Tourists in national park
Tourists in national park

Infection found in blackbuck deer

The chinkara have been given protected status in the Desert National Park in Jaisalmer.The state bird of Rajasthan, Godawan (Great Indian Bustard/Bird) is also found here. The Tal Chhapar Sanctuary in Churu district is famous for its deer. Bundi district’s Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary is home to tigers, egrets, bears, jackals, spotted deers, chinkaras, nilgais, wild boars, mongooses, rabbits and wolves.

In Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary in Udaipur roam bears, wolves and wild boars. It is also famous for its fowl. The major wildlife at Ajmer’s Todgarh-Rawali Wildlife Sanctuary include leopards, wild boars, chinkaras, common langurs, sloth bears and the Indian wolf. The wildlife species inSitamata Sanctuary, Pratapgarh, include the flying squirrel and chousingha deer (four-horned antelope).

Leopards, sloth bears, wild boars, sambar deer and chinkaras, and langurs are among the predominant wildlife in Mount Abu Wildlife Sanctuary. The distinctive heritage of Bhainsrodgarh Sanctuary in Chittorgarh includes the gharials. Leopards, chinkaras and spotted deer are also found in large numbers here.

CM seeks union government support

The Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot, has issued a statement that the lumpy skin disease spreading in cattle in the different districts of the state is of concern. The state government is taking all possible measures to bring the disease under control in an alert and sensitive manner towards the cattle. The union government is requested to provide financial and other necessary assistance to save the cow population and cooperate in the effective control of the disease.

यहाँ हिन्दी में भी पढ़ें: अलर्टः लम्पी फैला तो राजस्थान के वन्यजीवों पर भी होगा संकट

[Story Translated By Lotika Singha]

Abdul Mahir
Abdul Mahir
Abdul Mahir has worked continuously as a reporter in Rajasthan Patrika since 2003. Presently Abdul Mahir is reporting for The Mooknayak from Rajasthan.

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