Wildlife of Karnataka

Wildlife of Karnataka

The state of Karnataka located in South India has a rich diversity of flora and fauna. It has a recorded forest area of 38720 km² which constitutes 20.19% of the total geographical area of the state. Statistics related to forests in Karnataka is provided by cite web|url=http://karnatakaforest.gov.in/English/forest_glance/forest_at_glance.htm|title=Statistics|work=Online Webpage of the Forest Department|publisher=Government of Karnataka|accessdate=2007-05-06] . These forests support 25% of the elephant population and 10% of the tiger population of India. ] Many regions of Karnataka are as yet unexplored and new species of flora and fauna are found periodically. The mountains of Western Ghats which are in the western region of Karnataka are a biodiversity hotspot. Two sub-clusters of these Western Ghats viz. Talacauvery and Kudremukh which are located in Karnataka are in the tentative list of sites that could be designated as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Western Ghats being nominated by India as a World Heritage Site is mentioned by cite web|url=http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/2103/|title=Western Ghats (sub cluster nomination)|work=Online webpage of UNESCO World Heritage Centre|publisher=1992-2007 UNESCO World Heritage Centre|accessdate=2007-05-08] The Bandipur and Nagarahole national parks which fall outside these subclusters were included in the Nilgiri biosphere reserve in 1986, a UNSECO designation.cite web|url=http://cpreec.org/04_phamplets/08_nilgiri_bio_reser/nilgiri_bio_reser.html|title=THE NILGIRI BIOSPHERE RESERVE|work=R.J. Ranjit Daniels - MS Swaminathan Research Foundation|publisher=UNESCO South-South Cooperation Program, 1996|accessdate=2007-05-10] The state bird and state animal of Karnataka are Indian Roller and the Indian Elephant respectively. The state tree and state flower are Sandalwood ("Santalum album") and lotus respectively. Flora and Fauna as state symbols of Karnataka are mentioned by cite web|url=http://www.wii.gov.in/nwdc/state_animals_tree_flowers.pdf|title=State Animals, Birds, Trees and Flowers|work=Online webpage of Wildlife Institute of India|publisher=Government of India|accessdate=2007-05-09]

National parks in Karnataka

Karnataka has five national parks.

Anshi National Park

This park is present in the Uttara Kannada district and spreads over an area of 250 km². The altitude varies from convert|27|m|ft|0|lk=on to convert|927|m|ft|0|lk=on , and temperatures from 15°C to 35°C. Average annual rainfall is about convert|4700|mm|in|0|lk=on .
*Flora A Walk on the Wild Side, An Information Guide to National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries of Karnataka, Compiled and Edited by Dr. Nima Manjrekar, Karnataka Forest Department, Wildlife Wing, October 2000] : The area has semi-evergreen and evergreen forests. Some common tree species in the area are "Calophyllum tomentosa", "Calophyllum wightianum", "Garcina cambogia", "Garcina morealla", "Knema attenuata", "Hopea wightiana", "Tetrameles nudiflora", "Alstonia scholaris", "Flacourtia Montana", "Machilis macarantha", "Carallia brachiata", "Artocarpus hirsutus", "Artocarpus lacoocha" and "Cinnamomum zeylanicum".
*Fauna ] : Mammals in the park include elephant, gaur, wild pig, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, mouse deer, common langur, bonnet macaque, slender loris, tiger, jungle cat, black panther, leopard cat, small Indian civet, common mongoose, jackal, wild dog, sloth bear, Malabar giant squirrel, Grizzled giant squirrel, giant flying squirrel and porcupine. King cobra, python, cobra, rat snake, viper and krait are among the snakes that inhabit the park. Interesting birds include the Great Hornbill, Malabar Pied Hornbill and ceylon frogmouth.

Bandipur National Park

It is situated within Chamarajanagar district covering an area of over 800 km² and adjoins the states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. In 1973, Bandipur became one of the first of India's Tiger Reserves and became a part of Project Tiger. In 1974, intention was declared under the Wildlife Protection Act to notify it as a National Park.
*Flora ] : The scrub jungles towards the eastern limits of the park consist of stunted trees, interspersed with bushes and open grassy patches. Towards its north-western fringes, there is a gradual shift in the vegetation from open dry deciduous forests to tropical mixed deciduous forests. These diverse habitats support an enormous diversity of animal life.
*Fauna ] : The mammals found here are Elephant ("Elephas maximus"), Gaur ("Bos gaurus"), Sambar ("Cervus unicolor"), Chital or Spotted deer ("Axis axis"), Muntjac ("Muntiacus muntjak") or Barking deer, Mouse deer ("Tragulus meminna"), Bonnet macaque ("Macaca radiata"), Slender loris ("Loris tardigradus"), Common giant flying squirrel ("Petaurists petaurista"), Tiger ("Panthera tigris"), Leopard ("Panthera pardus"), Common palm civet ("Paradoxurus hermaphroditus"), Small Indian civet ("Viverricula indica"), Sloth bear ("Melursus ursinus"), Dhole or Asiatic wild dog("Cuon alpinus"), Striped hyena ("Hyaena hyaena"), Golden jackal ("Canis aureus"), Ruddy mongoose ("Herpestes smithii"), Smooth Indian otter ("Lutra perspicillata"), Indian pangolin ("Manis crassicaudata"). Among the 230 species of birds identified here, some of the important groups include Herons, Storks, Egrets, Ducks, Kites, Eagles, Falcons, Quails, Partridges, Wildfowl, Lapwings, Sandpipers, Pigeons, Doves, Parakeets, Cuckoos, Owls, Nightjars, Swifts, Kingfishers, Bee-eaters and Munias. Reptiles like Marsh crocodile ("Crocodylus palustris"), Indian pond terrapin, Starred tortoise ("Geochelone elegans"), Common Indian monitor ("Varanus bengalensis"), Indian chameleon ("Chameleo zeylanicus"), Skinks ("Mabuya spp."), Geckos ("Hemidactylus"), Common rat snake ("Ptyas mucosus"), Spectacled cobra, Russell's viper ("Vipera russelli"), Common krait, Indian python ("Python molurus"), Checkered keelback, Green whip snake, Common Indian bronzeback ("Dendrelaphis tristis") and Trinket snake ("Elaphe helena") are found here

Bannerghatta National Park

It is located near Bangalore district and cover over 115 km² of area. Altitude varies from convert|740|m|ft|0|lk=on to convert|1034|m|ft|0|lk=on , temperature from 20° to 35°C and the average annual rainfall is convert|700|mm|in|0|lk=on .
* Flora ] : The area has mostly dry deciduous forests and thorny scrub, with patches of moist deciduous forests along the streams. Tree species in the park include "Anogeissus latifolia", "Schleichera oleosa", "Terminalia tomentosa", "Terminalia arjuna", "Grewia tilaefolia", "Santalum album", "Shorea talura", "Emblica officinalis", "Vitex altissima", "Wrightia tinctoria", "Randia sp.", "Zizphus sp." and "Albizzia sp.". Bamboos are common in the park, the dominant species being "Dendrocalamus strictus". A small area of the park has plantations of Eucalyptus, "Bauhinia purpurea", "Samanea saman" and "Peltophorum pterocarpum".
* Fauna ] : Mammals in the park include leopard, gaur, elephant, jackal, fox, wild pig, sloth bear, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, common langur, bonnet macaque, porcupine and hare. A tiger has recently been sighted in the park.

Kudremukh National Park

Spread over an area of 600.32 km² it encompasses regions in the districts of Dakshina Kannada, Udupi and Chikmagalur. Altitude varies from convert|134|m|ft|0|lk=on to convert|1892|m|ft|0|lk=on. The park has a pleasant climate, with temperatures ranging from 17° to 28°C. Annual rainfall varies from convert|1778|mm|in|0|lk=on to convert|6350|mm|in|0|lk=on , with an average of convert|4000|mm|in|0|lk=on . The rivers Nethravati, Tunga and Bhadra are believed to originate here at Ganga Moola.
* Flora ] : The park has mostly evergreen and semi-evergreen forests. Shola grassland habitat is found at elevations above convert|1400|m|ft|0|lk=on. Evergreen trees include "Poeciloneuron indicum", "Holigarna arnottiana", "Artocarpus sp.", "Calophyllum sp.", "Alstonia scholaris", "Canarium strictum", "Syzygium cumini", "Flacourtia Montana", "Symplocos spicata", "Hopea parviflora", "Mesua ferrea" and "Evodia roxburghiana". There are also a few plantations of "Eucalyptus", "Casuarina" and "Acacia" auriculiformis.
* Fauna ] : Mammals in the park include tiger, leopard, wild dog, jackal, lion-tailed macaque, common langur, sloth bear, gaur, sambar, spotted deer, barking deer, Malabar giant squirrel, giant flying squirrel, porcupine and mongoose. Reptiles are represented by snakes and tortoises. Bird species in the park include the Malabar trogon, great pied hornbill, Malabar whistling thrush and imperial pigeon.

Nagarhole National Park

Also known as Rajiv Gandhi (Nagarahole) National Park gets its name from the "Nagara Hole" ("Snake River" in Kannada) which runs eastwards through its centre. Nagarahole river flows through the park before it joins the Kabini river that also acts as a boundary between Nagarahole and Bandipur. The park covers an area of about 575 km². The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary of Kerala adjoins to the Southeast.
*Flora ] : These forests are dominated by teak and rosewood. The eastern limits of the park consist of regenerating dry deciduous forests. The west region of the park contains tropical moist and semi-evergreen forests. Interspersed with these forests are swampy fallows called hadlus, which are dominated by grasses and are favoured grazing areas of many wild herbivores.
*Fauna ] : Some of the species of mammals found in this park are Elephant ("Elephas maximus"), Gaur ("Bos gaurus"), Sambar ("Cervus unicolor"), Chital or Spotted deer or Axis deer ("Axis axis"), Muntjac or Barking deer ("Muntiacus muntjak"), Chevrotain or Mouse deer ("Tragulus meminna"), Four horned Antelope ("Tetracerus quadricornis"), Giant fruit bat ("Pteropus giganteus"), Tiger ("Panthera Tigris"), Leopard ("Panthera pardus"), Leopard cat ("Felis bengalensis"), Jungle cat ("Felis chaus"), Rusty spotted Cat ("Felis rubiginosa"), Common palm civet ("Paradoxurus hermaphroditus"), Small Indian civet ("Viverricula indica"), Sloth bear ("Melursus ursinus"), Dhole or Asiatic wild dog ("Cuon alpinus") and Flying fox ("Ptreopus giganteus"), the largest Indian Bat. Among the 250 species of birds identified in this park include Herons, Storks, Egrets, Ducks, Kites, Eagles, Falcons, Partridges, Quails, Peafowl, Owls, Lapwings, Sandpipers, Pigeons, Doves, Parakeets, Cuckoos, Nightjars, Swifts, Kingfishers, Bee-eaters, Barbets, Swallows, Larks, Woodpeckers, Shrikes and Orioles. Reptiles include Marsh crocodile ("Crocodylus palustris"), Indian pond terrapin, Star tortoise, Common Indian monitor lizard ("Varanus bengalensis"), Forest calotes, Southern green calotes, Skinks ("Mabuya spp."), Geckos, Spectacled cobra, Russell's viper, Common krait, Indian python ("Python molurus"), Checkered keelback, Green whip snake, Common Indian bronzeback, Flying snake, Wolf snake and Trinket snake.

Wildlife sanctuaries in Karnataka

Karnataka also has the following 18 wildlife sanctuaries:

* Adichunchanagiri Peacock Sanctuary: This is located in Mandya district and is spread over 0.88 km². This was created mainly for the conservation of peacocks.

* Arabithittu Wildlife Sanctuary: This is located in Mysore district and is spread over 13.5 km². This park consists of eucalyptus and sandalwood platations. Leopard, fox and spotted deer are some of the animal species found here

* Biligiri Rangaswamy Temple Wildlife Sanctuary: This is located in the Chamarajanagar district and is spread over 539.58 km². Some of the species of flora found here are "Anogeissus latifolia", "Grewia Tilaefolia" and "Syzygium cumini". Species of mammals include elephants, tigers, leopards, sloth bear, gaur, barking deer and sambar. Among the 215 species of birds found here include Nilgiri wood pigeon, Malabar whistling thrush, yellow-throated bulbul, peregrine falcon, rufousbellied hawk eagle. An endangered amphibian, "Icthyophis ghytinosus' has been reported in this sanctuary.

* Bhadra Wildlife Sanctuary: This is located between the Chikkamagaluru and Shimoga districts and is spread over 492.46 km². Common species of flora include "Lagerstromia Lanceolata", "Adina cordifolia" and "Careya arborea". Mammals include tiger, leopard, elephant, gaur, slender loris and pangolin. Among the bird species found here are rubythroated bulbul, shama, Malabar whistling thrush and paradise flycatcher.

* Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary: This is located in Kodagu district and is spread over an area of 181.80 km². The evergreen forests in this sanctuary include species like "Cinnamomum zeylancium", "Cedrela toona" and "Alstonia scholaris". Bamboos are dominant here and include species like "Bambusa bambos" and "Dendrocalamus strictus". Mammals include elephant, gaur, tiger, jungle cat, bonnet macaque and Nilgiri marten ] .

* Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary: It is spread across the districts of Bangalore, Mysore and Mandya and is spread over 102.59 km². Dry deciduous trees found in this park include species like "Terminalia arjuna" and "Syzgium cumini". Animal species found in this park include leopard, elephant, sambar and common otter. This is also one of the last refuge of the highly endangered grizzled giant squirrel in Karnataka. Bird species include grrn billed malkoha, whitebrowed bulbul and pigmy woodpecker. This sanctaury is also famous for mahseer fish (Tor sp.)

* Dandeli Wildlife Sanctuary: This is located in Uttara Kannada district and is spread over 475.02 km². Common tree species found here are "Dalbergia latifolia", "Terminalia paniculata", T. Tomentosa and vitex altissima. Mammal species include elephant, gaur, wild pig, slender loris, Malabar giant squirrel and barking deer.

* Daroji Sloth Bear Sanctuary: This is located in Bellary district and is spread over 55.87 km². This sanctuary was mainly created for the preservation of sloth bears.

* Ghataprabha Wildlife Sanctuary: This is located in Belgaum district and is spread over 20.78 km². This sacntuary is known for migratory birds like demoiselle crane and European white stork.
* Melukote Wildlife Sanctuary: This is located in Mandya district and is spread over 45.82 km². An endangered species of flora, "Cycas circinalis" is found here. Mammal species include wolf, leopard, blackbuck and pangolin.

* Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary: This is located in Udupi district and is spread over 247 km². Some of the tree species found here are "Dipterocarpus indicus", "Calophyllum tomentosum" and "Hopea parviflora". An endangered species of climber "Coscinium fenestratum" has been recorded here. Slender loris, lion-tailed macaque, sambar and chital are some of the animals found here. The endangered cane turtle is also found here.

* Nugu Wildlife Sanctuary: This is located in Mysore district and is spread over 30.32 km². Common species of flora include "Emblica officinalis", "Santalum album" and "Dendrocalamus strictus". Mammals include elephant, gaur, leopard, spotted deer and common palm civet.

* Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary: This is located in Kodagu district and is spread over 102.59 km². Some species of flora found here are "Hopea parviflora", "Schefflera capitata", "Xanthalis tomentosa" and "Ochlandra rheedii". Mammals include elephant, tiger, slender loris, Nilgiri marten and bonnet macaque. Bird species include Great pied hornbill, Malabar trogon and Nilgiri blackbird.
* Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary: This is located in Dharwad district and is spread over 119.00 km². Eucalyptus are the dominant species of trees found here. "Cassia fistula", "Prosopsis julifora" and "Zizyhus Mauritania" are other tree species found here. This sanctuary was created mainly for the conservation of blackbucks. This sanctuary is also a habitat for the endangered Great Indian Bustard.

* Sharavathi Valley Wildlife Sanctuary: This is located in Shimoga district and is spread over 431.23 km². "Dipterocarpus indicus", "Caryota urens" and "Dillenia pentagyna" are some of the species of flora found here. Tiger, leopard, mouse deer, bonnet macaque and common langur are some of the animal species found here. Snakes are commonly found here. Paradise flycatcher, racket-tailed drongo and bluethroated barbet are some of the bird species found here.

* Shettihalli Wildlife Sanctuary: This is located in Shimoga district and is spread over 395.60 km². "Cassia fistula", "Kydia calycina" and "Wrightia tinctoria" are some of the species of flora found here. Tiger, leopard, bonnet macaque and Malabar giant squirrel are some of the animal species found here.

* Someshwara Wildlife Sanctuary: This is located in Udupi district and is spread over 88.40 km². "Machilus Macrantha", "Lophopetalum wightanium" and "Artocarpus hirsuta" are some of the species of flora found here. Tiger, leopard, lion-tailed macaque and spotted deer are some of the animal species found here.

* Talakaveri Wildlife Sanctuary: This is located in Kodagu district and is spread over 105.00 km². "Albizzia lebbek", "Artocarpus lakoocha", "Dysoxylum malabaricum" and "Mesua ferrea"' are some of the species of flora found here. Clawless otter, elephant, tiger, striped necked mongoose and mouse deer are some of the animal species found here. Fairy bluebird, Malabar trogon and broadbiller roller are some of the avian species found.

Bird sanctuaries

* Attiveri Bird Sanctuary: This is located in Uttara Kannada district and is spread over 2.23 km². White ibis, little cormorant, pied kingfisher, common grey hornbill are some of the bird species found here

* Gudavi Bird Sanctuary: This is located in Shimoga district and is spread over 0.73 km². The tree species that dominate this sanctuary are "Vitex leucoxylon" and "Phyllanthus polyphyllus". 191 species of birds are recorded here including white ibis, pheasant-tailed jacana, purplr moorhen and little grebe.

* Ranganathittu Bird Sanctuary: This is located in Mysore district and is spread over 0.67 km². Among the tree species found here, is the unique "Iphigenia mysorensis". Other tree species include "Derris indica" and "Barringtonia racemosa". This sanctuary is a haven for birds like cormorants, darter, white ibis, great stone plover, cliff swallow, spoonbills, lesser whistling teal and kingfishers.

*Mandagadde Bird Sanctuary: This is located in Shimoga district and is based on a small island on the Tunga river. It is mainly visited by migratory birds like Median Egret ("Egretta Intermedia"), the Little Cormonant ("Phalacrocoorax Niger"), and the Darter or Snake Bird ("Aninga nufa"). A brief overview of Mandagadde bird sanctuary is provided by cite web|url=http://www.thehindujobs.com/thehindu/2001/08/21/stories/0421210n.htm|title=Will floods prevent seasonal migration of 'alien' birds?|author=Pramod Mellegatti|work=Online Edition of the Hindu dated 2001-08-21|publisher=2001, The Hindu|accessdate=2007-05-08]

*Kaggaladu Heronry: This is located in Tumkur district and is one of the largest painted storks sanctuary in South India. Some of the birds that nest here are painted storks, grey herons, pelicans, black stilts and ducks.

*Kokkare Bellur Pelicanry: This is located in the town of Kokkare Bellur in Mandya district and is a haven for avian species like Grey or Spot-billed Pelican ("Pelecanus philippensis") and Painted Stork("Mycteria leucocephala"). In fact the word "Kokkare" means stork in the Kannada language. Apart from pelicans and storks, 141 species of birds have been sighted here. A description of Kokkare Bellur has been provided by cite web|url=http://www.hindu.com/2006/02/15/stories/2006021509750400.htm|title=Lending a helping hand|author=Sharath S. Srivatsa|work=Online Edition of the Hindu dated 2006-02-15|publisher=2006, The Hindu|accessdate=2007-05-08]

*Bankapura Peacock Sanctuary: This is loacted in Haveri district and spread over an area of 139.10 acres. This sanctuary was created mainly for the conservation of peacocks.

Dangers to flora and fauna

Due to various issues, flora and fauna in some parts of Karnataka are being threatened. These issues include poaching, human-wildlife conflict, habitat destruction, pollution and introduction of invasive new species.

Poaching

Despite the best efforts of conservation activists, poaching remains one of the serious problems affecting the flora and fauna in the state. Between the years 1997-2001, a total of 98 elephants have succumbed to poaching in Karnataka. A report on the environment of Karnataka and action plan thereof is discussed by cite web|url=http://ces.iisc.ernet.in/hpg/envis/ETR/CES_ETR/etr16.pdf|title=Karnataka State of Environment Report and Action Plan, Biodiversity Sector|author=Madhav Gadgil and others|work=ENVIS Technical Report 16|publisher=Environmental Information System, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore|accessdate=2007-05-08] Poaching has also affected the breeding of turtles like Olive Ridley on the beaches of Karnataka as well as otters on the river banks. Tigers are also another species that are threatened to extinction by poachers. Poaching of a tiger in Nagarhole National Park is mentioned by cite web|url=http://www.hindu.com/2006/04/03/stories/2006040308950400.htm|title= Tigers falling victim to `poor' anti-poaching drive|work=Online edition of The Hindu, dated 2006-04-03|publisher=2006, The Hindu|accessdate=2007-05-08] Sandalwood, famed for its sculptures and its aroma is frequently poached out of the forests of Karnataka. Teakwood, famed for the furnitures is another species of flora affected by this problem. Staff-shortage, lack of adequate funds and unscientific anti-poaching camps are some of the reasons quoted for continued poaching activities. ]

Habitat destruction

Some of the activities that are causing a destruction of habitat of flora and fauna in Karnataka are:
* Construction of dams and reservoirs: Construction of dams causes wide-spread flooding of surrounding areas causing destruction of species that inhabit the area. They also affect the flow of riverine species like fishes and disrupt their normal habits. An example is the construction of the Linganamakki reservoir in Shimoga district that caused the extinction of the grass, "Hubbardia heptaneuron". ]
* Destruction of forest land for agriculture and other purposes: Large tracts of forest land have been cleaned up for monoculture plantations like teak, coffee and rubber. This has led to the destruction of species that were dependent on the forest. An example of this is loss of special habitats in Karnataka such as "Myristica" swamps and high altitude grasslands. In the dry zone, they have adversely affected several species dependent on large tracts of scrub such as the wolf and the Great Indian Bustard.
* Mining operations: Mining operations clear out large areas of land and cause destruction to the species dependent on them. An example is the Kudremukh Iron Ore Company Limited which mined iron ore within the boundaries of the protected Kudremukh National Park. A brief description of mining at Kudremukh is provided by cite web|url=http://www.hindu.com/mag/2004/01/04/stories/2004010400240400.htm|title=Battle for Kudremukh|author=Praveen Bhargav and Niren Jain|work=Online edition of The Hindu, dated 2004-01-04|publisher=2004, The Hindu|accessdate=2007-05-08]

Human-wildlife conflict

Due to the loss of habitat, more and more species of fauna have started to venture into human habitation causing a conflict between humans and fauna. A typical species affected by this is the elephant which ventures out of the forest into human cultivations thereby eating or destroying the crops. In some cases, the elephants have also caused human deaths like an incident that happened in Hassan district where a villager was trampled to death. Destruction caused by elephants in Hassan district is mentioned by cite web|url=http://www.hindu.com/2006/12/25/stories/2006122507080400.htm|title=State seeks Centre's nod for translocating elephant herd|author=S. Rajendran|work=Online edition of The Hindu, dated 2006-12-25|publisher=2006, The Hindu|accessdate=2007-05-08] Precautionary measures (sometimes illegally) taken up by humans to prevent such mishaps like electric fencing have also led to disastrous consequences like electrocution of fauna. Electrocution of an elephant in Chamarajanagar district is metioned by cite web|url=http://www.hindu.com/2007/02/02/stories/2007020214130300.htm|title=Elephant electrocuted|work=Online edition of The Hindu, dated 2007-02-02|publisher=2007, The Hindu|accessdate=2007-05-08]

Pollution

Release of industrial waste and human effluents into rivers have caused significant damages to species that reside in rivers and riverbanks. Air pollution is also a significant cause of concern in metros like Bangalore where it has been found that air pollution is discolouring foliage including those of ornamental plants. Air pollution in Bangalore discolouring plants in mentioned by cite web|url=http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/articleshow/20953186.cms|title=Pollution is robbing blooms of their colour|author=Roja Kandath|work=Online edition of "The Times of India", dated 2001-02-14|publisher=2007, Times Internet Limited|accessdate=2007-05-08] A a comparison of the lichen flora of the garden Lal Bagh in Bangalore has revealed that 18 of the 22 species noted in 1980 were no longer present in 1997. ] Pollution in rivers like Kabini, Kaveri and Ghataprabha has caused sharp reduction in populations of bird species, including beneficial insectivorous birds like drongos, as well as honeybees. ]

Invasive new species

Introduction of new species into a habitat has caused serious consequences to the existing species of flora and fauna. A typical example is the introduction of the African catfish ("Clarias gariepinus") in the lakes and rivers of Karnataka. This is a carnivorous fish and has caused serious damage to the indigenous fauna living in those lakes and rivers. ] Weeds like "Eupatorium", "Lantana" and "Parthenium" have invaded large tracts of land causing destruction. An increase in "Eupatorium" is attributed as one of the causes for the spread of the deadly Kyasanur Forest disease (which has a morbidity rate of 10%) among humans since it harbors tick populations that are vectors for this disease. "Eucalyptus" plantations in the Ranibennur Blackbuck sanctuary has seriously harmed the extremely rare Great Indian Bustard.

Conservation efforts

Various conservation activities are in progress to protect the biodiversity present in Karnataka. Thes activities are mostly done by the Forest Department of the state of Karnataka and voluntary organisations like Wildlife Conservation Society (US and India chapters) and Kudremukh Wildlife Foundation.

Relocation of human population

The presence of human habitation within the core area of reserved forests poses many problems like human-wildlife conflict and destruction of habitat due to agriculture and cattle grazing. Systematic efforts have been made to relocate some of this population into proper zones outside the protected area. An example is the relocation of some villagers from Bhagawathi and Nassehalla habitations within the Kudremukh National Park to safer regions outside it. Relocation of villagers from Kudremukh National Park has been mentioned by cite web|title=Tiger Habitat Consolidation in Kudremukh| url=http://www.21stcenturytiger.org/projects/reports/Project8_Kudremukh_Tiger_Habitat_Consolidation_Web_Report.pdf|author=K. Ullas Karanth, Niren Jain and N. Samba Kumar|work=A Final Report to 21st Century Tiger from the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS)|publisher=21st Century Tiger|accessdate=2007-05-08]

Usage of technology

New scientific methods are being used to protect the flora and fauna. Some of these are:
* Usage of satellites to detect forest fires so that they can easily be extinguished. Using satellites for detecting forest fires in Karnataka is mentioned by cite web|url=http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/apr92005/state183822200548.asp|title=Eye-in-the-sky tech to combat forest fires|work=Online Edition of the Deccan Herald, dated 2005-04-09|publisher=2005, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd.|accessdate=2007-05-08]
* Radio tracking of animals and usage of techniques like remote camera sampling to estimate the animal population. Some conservation methods being used in Karnataka to protect flora and fauna are mentioned by cite web|url=http://www.wildlifefirst.info/images/wordfiles/tigersinindia.doc|title=Tigers in India A chance for survival|author=Shekar Dattatri|work=Online Webpage of Wildlife First|publisher=Wildlife First|accessdate=2007-05-08]
* Installation of wireless stations and using wireless sets for easy communication among individuals involved in field trips and anti-poaching activities. ]

taff empowerment

It is highly important to keep up the morale of forest wardens and other staff members involved in anti-poaching activities and field trips. It is also necessary to keep them up-to-date on the technology and wildlife related laws. The following steps were implemented to address this issue:
* Field kits were provided to the staff consisting of boots, rain gear and uniforms.
* Conservation related award programs were announced to boost the morale of the staff.
* Training programs were undertaken for the staff in the use of firearms against poachers, field craft and Indian wildlife laws

Related personalities

Conservationists

; Dr. Ullas KaranthDr. Karanth is a conservation zoologist and a tiger expert. He is the director of the Wildlife Conservation Society's India program. His report on the status of lion-tailed macaque in the Kudremukh region was one of the important causes responsible for the creation of the Kudremukh National Park. Ullas Karanth being one of the persons responsible for the creation of the Kudremukh National Park is mentioned by cite web|url=http://www.hinduonnet.com/2001/08/03/stories/0403402k.htm|title=KNP to be featured in 'National Geographic|author=Alladi Jayasri|work=Online edition of the Hindu, dated 2001-08-03|publisher=2001, The Hindu|accessdate=2007-05-09] One of his important projects was the monitoring of the health of forests and biodiversity in the Nagarahole National Park in Karnataka. Some results arising out of the study, on the status of tigers and their prey in particular, have been published as scientific papers and books. One of his pioneering work is the usage of scientific sampling methods to estimate the tiger population rather than the traditional methods. He is also a scientific fellow at the Zoological Society of London and is also on the editorial board of the journals Oryx and Journal of Applied Ecology. He has authored two books; "The Way of the Tiger" and "View from the Machan - How Science Can Save The Fragile Predator". He has also served on the Indian Board for Wildlife and the Steering Committee of Project Tiger, Government of India. He has also been awarded the Sierra Club’s prestigious International Earthcare Award 2006 for his unique and outstanding contribution to environmental protection and conservation. A brief biography about Ullas Karanth has been mentioned in cite web|url=http://wildlife.in/content/21|title=International Earthcare award for Dr. Ullas Karanth|work=Online Webpage of Wildlife Conservation Society, India|publisher= © 2005 Wildlife Conservation Society. India|accessdate=2007-05-09]

;Snake ShyamSnake Shyam, as the name suggests is a well known snake conservationist based in Mysore. His original name is M.S. Balasubramaniam and he is claimed to have caught nearly 40000 snakes in and around Mysore and safely released them in the wild. A brief biography of Snake Shyam is provided by cite web|url=http://www.outlookindia.com/mad.asp?fodname=20041129&fname=Making|title=The Charm Of A Gutless Racquet|work=Online Webpage of the Outlook Magazine, dated 2004-11-29|publisher= © Outlook Publishing (India) Private Limited|accessdate=2007-05-14] His tools for catching a snake is an old pillow cover and a badminton racquet without the strings. He clips the mouth of the pillow cover to the rim of the racquet to take the shape of a large tea strainer. He then delicately holds the snake and allows it to coil inside the pillow cover. ] He claims to have caught his first snake in 1982 - a 3.5 ft cobra. He is maintaining a log book since the last decade which has over 15000 entries indicating the number of snakes he has caught since then. Some of the species of snakes he has caught includes Cobra, Viper, Saw Scaled Viper, Krate, Trinket, Sand Boa, Bronze Back Tree Snake, Keel Back, Green Wine, Striped Keel Back, Wolf Snake, Python and others. A biography of Snake Shyam on the occasion of him catching a recorded 15000th snake is mentioned by cite web|url=http://www.thehindu.com/2006/09/20/stories/2006092016470300.htm|author=Sharath S. Srivatsa|title=He keeps snakes out of houses|work=Online edition of the Hindu, dated 2006-09-20|publisher= © 2006, The Hindu|accessdate=2007-05-14] The snakes rescued have been released in Bandipur, Titimathi, Himavad Gopalaswamy Betta, Malai Mahadeswara Hills and other forests in the surrounding region. ] A television program called "Snakes, Karma and Action" telecasted on National Geographic Channel has featured him. A feature on Snake Shyam telecasted on National Geographic Channel is described by cite web|url=http://www.nationalgeographic.co.in/explore/adventure_diaries_india/stephendiaries_day5.aspx|author=Stephen Blackshall|title=Stephen Backshall Daily Diary, Enter Gerry and Snake Shyam: Cobra Company|work=Online edition of the The National Geographic, India|publisher=© 2007 NGC Network (India) Pvt. Ltd. |accessdate=2007-05-14]

;Niren JainNiren Jain is the co-ordinator of the "Kudremukh Wildlife Foundation" which is an organisation created to protect the flora and fauna of the Kudremukh National Park. He is an architect by profession and a native of a village called Bajagoli near the Kudremukh National Park. He worked as an assistant in the Wildlife Conservation Society's India chapter and he acquired scientific methods to monitor fauna populations using camera traps, line transect sampling and other methods. He walked around 600 km within the Kudremukh National Park as a part of a GPS survey to map the mark. He is one of the main activists who campaigned against the iron ore mining within the National Park which led to the cessation of mining activities in Kudremukh. He is the recipient of Carl Zeiss Roll of Honour in the year 2004 which was awarded for his efforts in wildlife conservation. A biography of Niren Jain in provided by cite web|url=http://www.zeiss.co.in/C1256AE900266D5F/EmbedTitelIntern/WildlifeRollofhonour2004/$File/WidlifeHonour.pdf|title=Carl Zeiss Roll of Honour 2004|work=Online webpage of Carl Zeiss India Pvt. Ltd.|publisher=Carl Zeiss India Pvt. Ltd.|accessdate=2007-05-09]

Photographers

;Krupakar-SenaniS. Krupakar and Senani Hegde are well known wildlife photographers from Karnataka. They work together and hence are more known by their combined name of "Krupakar-Senani". Krupakar-Senani's wildlife photographs have been published in famed international magazines such as "People", "The Times", "Nature America" and the "BBC Wildlife". They have also made a documentary film called "Wild Dog Diaries" on "dhole", the Indian wild dog ("Cuon alpinus"). This film has been screened in over 100 countries. Efforts made by Krupakara-Senani to bring to light the Indian wild dog "dhole" has been mentioned by cite web|author= MURALIDHARA KHAJANE|url=http://www.thehindu.com/thehindu/fr/2007/03/09/stories/2007030900390100.htm|title= On the dhole trail|work=Online Webpage of The Hindu, dated 2007-03-09|publisher= © 2007, The Hindu|accessdate=2007-05-09] Apart from their photography, they were also in the limelight when they were kidnapped and later released unharmed by the forest brigand, Veerappan. Kidnapping of Krupakara-Senani by Veerappan has been mentioned by cite web|url=http://www.hinduonnet.com/fline/fl1421/14211220.htm|work=Online Webpage of The Frontline, Vol. 14 :: No. 21 :: Oct. 18 - 31, 1997|publisher=1997, The Hindu|author=Ravi Sharma|title=Old game, new pawns]

Recently discovered species

Many areas of Karnataka, especially in the forests of Malnad region are unexplored and new species of flora and fauna are discovered periodically. Some of the new species of flora discovered in Karnataka include "Paracautleya bhatii" (a ginger) and "Isachne veldkampii" (a grass), both of which were discovered near Manipal in Udupi district. Discovery of Isoetes Udupiensis has been mentioned by cite web|url=http://www.hindu.com/2005/05/11/stories/2005051103830500.htm|title= New plant species found|work=Online Edition of the Hindu, dated 2005-05-11|publisher=2005, The Hindu|accessdate=2007-05-06] Two species of algae, "Cosmarium bourrellyi" and "Cosmarium desikacharyi" were discovered in a paddy field in Belgaum. Discovery of new algae species is mentioned by cite web|title=New taxa of Cosmarium Corda (Desmidiaceae) from Karnataka State, India|url=http://www.springerlink.com/content/j641r718312h08qp|author=U D Bongale|work=Online webpage of springerlink.com|publisher=Springer|accessdate=2007-05-06] Other new species of flora discovered in Karnataka include "Isoetes udupiensis" (a flowering plant) and "Pisolithus indicus" (a fungus).cite web|title=Diversity in ectomycorrhizal fungi of a dipterocarp forest in Western Ghats|url=http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/jun252005/1893.pdf|author=K. NATARAJAN, G. SENTHILARASU, V. KUMARESAN, TAIANA RIVIERE|work=CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL. 88, NO. 12, 25 JUNE 2005|publisher=Current Science Online|accessdate=2007-05-07]

Some of the new species of fauna discovered include two species of ants, "Dilobocondyla bangalorica" which was discovered on the campus of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore Discovery of a new species of ant in the IISC campus, Bangalore is discussed by cite web|url=http://ces.iisc.ernet.in/thresi/pdf/Varghese_2006.pdf|author=THRESIAMMA VARGHESE|title=A new species of the ant genus "Dilobocondyla" (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) from India, with notes on its nesting behaviour Catalog of Fishes|work=Oriental Insects, Vol. 40: 23-32, 2006.|publisher=Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore|accessdate=2007-05-07] and "Discothyrea sringerensis" which was discovered near Sringeri Discovery of a new species of ant in Sringeri is discussed by cite web|url=http://antbase.org/ants/publications/20286/20286.pdf|author=Merry Zacharias and Priyadarshanan Dharma Rajan|title=Discothyrea sringerensis (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) a new ant species from India|work=Zootaxa 484:1-4 (2004)|publisher=2004, Magnolia Press|accessdate=2007-05-07] . Three new species of frogs; "Philautus luteolus", "Philautus tuberohumerus"cite web|author=Raviprasad Kamila|title= Two new species of frogs found|url=http://www.hindu.com/2007/02/20/stories/2007022001180200.htm|work=Online Edition of the Hindu, dated 2007-02-20|publisher=2007, The Hindu|accessdate=2007-05-06] and "Nyctibatrachus petraeus" Discovery of "Nyctibatrachus petraeus" has been detailed by cite web|url=http://www.bio.utexas.edu/grad/krushnamegh/Moorings/DasKunte05.pdf|title=New Species of Nyctibatrachus (Anura: Ranidae) from Castle Rock, Karnataka State, Southwest India|work=Journal of Herpetology, Vol. 39, No. 3, pp. 465–470, 2005|author=INDRANEIL DAS AND KRUSHNAMEGH KUNTE|publisher=2005 Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles|accessdate=2007-05-07] have been discovered in Karnataka. Explorations in the Sharavathi river have yielded new fish species like "Batasio sharavatiensis" Discovery of "Batasio sharavatiensis" has been mentioned by cite web|url=http://www.geocities.com/fishyanu/Batasio.pdf|author=Anuradha Bhatt and K.C. Jayaram|work=February 2004, Zoos' Print journal 19(2): 1339-1342|title=A new species of the genus BATASIO BLYTH (Siluriformes: Bagridae) from Sharavathi river, Uttara Kannada, Karnataka|publisher=Zoos' Print Journal|accessdate=2007-05-07] (a bagrid catfish), "Schistura nagodiensis" Details regarding new fishes of genus Schistura found in Sharavathi river is provided by cite web|url=http://wgbis.ces.iisc.ernet.in/energy/water/paper/twonew_fishes/Sreekantha%20et%20al.,%202006.pdf|author=Sreekantha, K.V.Gururaja, K.Remadevi, T.J.Indra, T.V. Ramachandra|title=Two new fish species of the genus "Schistura" Mcclelland (Cypriniformes: Balitoridae) from Western Ghats, India|work=Zoos' Print Journal 21 (4): 2211-2216 (April 2006) |publisher=Zoo Outreach Organisation|accessdate=2007-05-07] and "Schistura sharavathiensis". Another fish species, "Puntius coorgensis" Details regarding "Puntius coorgensis" is provided by cite web|url=http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/Eschmeyer/EschPiscesSummary.cfm?ID=55133|author=Jayaram (1982)|title=Catalog of Fishes|work=Pisces Reference|publisher=Fishbase|accessdate=2007-05-07] has been discovered near Bhagamandala in the Kaveri river. Some other species of fauna discovered in Karnataka include two species of whiteflies, "Distinctaleyrodes setosus" Discovery of a new genus and species of whitefly is discussed by cite web|url=http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2006f/z01154p039f.pdf|author=A.K. DUBEY & R. SUNDARARAJ|title=Distinctaleyrodes setosus Dubey & Sundararaj (Sternorrhyncha: Aleyrodidae), a new whitefly genus and species from India|work=Zootaxa 1154: 35–39 (2006)|publisher=2006, Magnolia Press|accessdate=2007-05-07] and "Aleurocanthus arecae" Discovery of a whitefly in areca plantations is discussed by cite web|url=http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2003f/z00173f.pdf|author=B. VASANTHARAJ DAVID AND M. MANJUNATHA|title=A new species of Aleurocanthus Quaintance & Baker (Homoptera: Aleyrodidae) from Areca catechu in India, with comments on the status of Aleurodes nubilans Buckton|work=Zootaxa 173: 1-4 (2003)|publisher=2003, Magnolia Press|accessdate=2007-05-07] and a caecilian, "Gegeneophis madhavai". Discovery of a caecilian has been discussed by cite web|url=http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2004f/z00644f.pdf|author=GOPALAKRISHNA BHATTA & R. SRINIVASA|title=A new species of Gegeneophis Peters (Amphibia: Gymnophiona: Caeciliidae) from the surroundings of Mookambika Wildlife Sanctuary, Karnataka, India|work=Zootaxa 644: 1–8 (2004)|publisher=2004, Magnolia Press|accessdate=2007-05-07] Explorations in the soil around the Linganamakki reservoir has revealed eleven new species of earthworms. Discovery of new species of earthworms is mentioned by cite web|url=http://www.mapress.com/zootaxa/2004f/z00486f.pdf|author=Julka et al.|title=New species of earthworms found in Western Ghats of Karnataka|publisher=2004, Magnolia Press|accessdate=2007-05-07]

Endangered species

Karnataka is the home of few critically endangered species of flora that include evergreen trees like "Dipterocarpus bourdilloni", "Hopea erosa" and "Hopea jacobi", "Croton lawianus" (a small tree) and "Pinnatella limbata" (a type of moss). Some of the critically endangered species of fauna found in Karnataka include "Gyps indicus" (the Indian vulture) and two species of frogs, "Indirana gundia" (found only in Gundia range, Sakleshpur) and "Micrixalus kottigeharensis" (found only near Kottigehara, Chikkamagaluru district).

Some of the endangered species of flora include evergreen trees like "Cynometra bourdillonii", "Cynometra travancorica", "Hopea glabra", "Hopea parviflora", "Hopea ponga", "Hopea racophloea", "Hopea wightiana", "Shorea roxburghii" and "Tarenna agumbensis" and flowering plants like "Glochidion pauciflorum", "Glochidion tomentosum", "Ixora lawsoni" and "Syzygium stocksii". Other endangered trees found in Karnataka include "Isonandra stocksii", "Kingiodendron pinnatum", "Maesa velutina", "Myristica magnifica", "Rapanea striata" and "Xylosma latifolium".

Endangered species of fauna found in Karnataka include the tiger, Indian Elephant, Lion-tailed Macaque, Olive Ridley turtle and dhole, the Indian wild dog. Many endangered species of amphibians are found here including frogs, "Indirana brachytarsus", "Microhyla sholigari", "Minervarya sahyadris", "Nyctibatrachus aliciae", "Nyctibatrachus hussaini", "Nyctibatrachus sanctipalustris", "Philautus charius", "Philautus wynaadensis", "Ramanella mormorata" and "Rhacophorus lateralis" and a toad, "Bufo beddomii". Other endangered species of fauna include "Hipposideros hypophyllus" (the Kolar leaf-nosed bat) and "Pseudomulleria dalyi" (a mollusc).

Footnotes

External links

* [http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/oct102002/810.pdf Floral resources of Karnataka: A geographic perspective.]


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