Posted by: Shardul Bajikar on
Mar 20, 2010
Here are 2 stories from a small forest called Navegaon National Park in Maharashtra. The park though beseiged with problems from insurgency to timber, poaching and encroachment from humans and cattle is still battleing out to survival and continues to spring surprises.
Last month, a women went to collect some compost from the compost hut erected in the village, bordering the national park. The compost hut which was undisturbed for some months before that, was happily selected as a denning site by a female sloth bear to raise her brood of two. And no surprises that the women was dumb struck to see a large bear in the compost hut.
The bear moved on with her brood, now that her cover was busted.
The second story is about the disturbance faced by the park and the problem it causes, unseasonal rains in the areas since the month of January had got back the otherwise monsoon infection of 'foot and mouth' disease in the cattle of the surrounding villages and the Indian bison or the gaur, of which Navegaon boasts of a huge population was found succumbing to the infection. Though deaths were not initially reported in the earlier part, but in the past 12 days, about 8 gaurs and some equal number of blue bulls were found as mortalities fue to the foot and mouth infection.
The reports from the ground as of today are encouraging and especially after very heavy rains in the last 10 days, has made the wild herbivores to disperse and not gather at limited water holes. Still the threat of foot and mouth replay looms large over these vital corridor of Central Indian tiger landscape.
In hope that Navegaon lives on!!!