Local Goa News

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Resumption of mining affecting wildlife badly

Bicholim: Since the resumption of mining activities, leopards and other wild life have been threatened inside the mining belt of Bicholim.
Before the mining industry began operations, many areas in Bicholim were the natural habitats for different species of wild animals.
With haphazard mining, there has been a a gradual destruction and degradation of natural habitats and also corridors that animals use in between connected habitats.
Amrut Singh of the Animal rescue squad of Bicholim was speaking to TOI, said, "For the last 3 years, our observations have revealed wild animals like leopards, bisons, jungle cats had a new lease of life with the closure of the mining industry. But now with the resumption of mining industry and transportation, the threat posed to these animals has again returned."
A female leopard with two cubs had been sighted on many occasions in Mayem and surrounding areas.
Two months ago, one of the cubs was badly injured while crossing road when it was hit by a motorcycle. Though, the cub was taken to Bondla zoo for treatment, it did not survive for long.
A fortnight ago, a jungle cat died on the spot when it was hit by a mining truck in Surla, Bicholim.
"Mining trucks hardly follow traffic rules and regulations, and this has increased death rates amongst wild animals like monitor lizards, monkeys, leopards", says Gajanan Shetye, a wildlifer from Keri.
Girish Bailudkar, the Range forest officer (RFO) of Keri told TOI, "Since our staff has received information about increasing movement of leopards in the mining belt, we have visited these areas and instructed mining officials about the presence of leopards.
They have also confirmed (the sightings) and agreed to co-operate in protecting leopards and other wild animals."
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In Lamgao area of Bicholim, residents have sighted leopards on many ocassions.
When mining activities were on in full swing, Bicholim and surrounding areas had witnessed increasing incidents of man-animal, especially leopards, conflicts.
After receiving complaints from villagers, some leopards were trapped and released in their habitats by forest officials.
Leopard spottings are becoming a tad common in these areas so much so that recently, a Bicholim resident was successful in taking a photo on his cellphone of a leopard in the mining belt.

TOI Goa News

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