Bengaluru: The Karnataka State Wildlife Board that met under the chairmanship of chief minister BS Yediyurappa on Thursday declared two more protected reserves for the state.
The board gave the go-ahead for declaring about 10,000 hectares of forest area in Arsikere range of Hassan district as Hirekallugudda Bear Sanctuary. It will be the third bear sanctuary in the state after Daroji and Gudekote, both in Ballari district.
Hirekallugudda is a habitat for wild animals like fox, wolf, blackbuck and deer. The Wildlife SOS, Bannerghatta in Bengaluru has been studying bears since 2016.
The board said Bonal Lake in Yadgir’s Surpur taluk will be called Bonal Bird Conservation Reserve — the largest protected area of its kind for birds in the state.
Sanjay Mohan, PCCF (wildlife), said the proposal on Bonal Lake was pending for about 25 years. “Bonal sweetwater lake is home to many indigenous and exotic bird species. It will be one of the first bird conservation reserves in the backward Hyderabad-Karnataka region. The ministry of environment, forests and climate change has identified some important wetlands in Karnataka, and Bonal Lake is one among them,” he added.
No talk of Kappatagutta
While there were talks about the government planning to withdraw the wildlife sanctuary tag to Kappatagudda hill range in Gadag district, the matter was not raised at the state wildlife board meeting.
Several student forums and environmentalists have been opposing removal of the status as it would pose threat to the serene wildlife and flora-rich hill range. “Kappatagudda was not on the agenda,” Sanjay Mohan said.