Maha’s Atpadi is tiny new wildlife reserve for wild dog family
Sangli (Maharashtra), Jan 9 (IANS) The Maharashtra government has declared a new wildlife habitat for the ‘canid’ wild dogs family in Sangli, as ‘Atpadi Conservation Reserve’, which is among the smallest at 9.48 sq.kms, officials said here.
The new reserve in the lush green western Maharashtra will help preserve the habitat of wolves, jackals, foxes and hyenas in the area, besides other mammals like deers, civets, rabbits and more that abound in the region.
The Atpadi Conservation Reserve helps connect the Maini Conservation Area in the west with the Madhok Bird Sanctuary to its north-east boundary, which will make it a safe corridor for the wildlife thriving there.
The small new sanctuary hosts rich flora and fauna comprising three types of forest cover — the semi-evergreen, moist deciduous and dry deciduous, has 35 species of trees, 15 species of shrubs, 14 of vines,116 species of herbs and one parasitic plant
Hon. Wildlife Warden Rohan Bhate said that the new reserve comprises an important grassland ecosystem inhabited by all the four canids (hyena, wolk, jackal and foxes) in the country.
“It will help protect the wildlife corridors and territories of these canids as well as other big and small mammals residing in the areas. The untiring efforts of the late conservator of Sangli, the late Ajit Patil (Papa Patil) and APCCF Western Wildlife (Mumbai) Dr. V.C. Ben have fructified,” said Bhate.
The proposal for the Atpadi Conservation Reserve was initiated by Dr. V.C. Ben, and after persistent follow-up, the new wildlife habitat declaration has been made, gladdening nature lovers in the state.
Other experts like the late Papa Patil, ornithologist Sharad Apte and other academicians, nature lovers, villagers and local MLA Anil K. Babar gave their inputs and pursued the issue with the state government at all levels.