India’s first Blackbuck conservation reserve to come up in UP
The Uttar Pradesh State Cabinet has approved Blackbuck Conservation Reserve in trans-Yamuna belt near Allahabad. It will be first of its kind conservation reserves in India exclusively dedicated to blackbuck.
In this regard, state government has evoked Section 36 A (1) and (2) of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, to declare the conservation reserve.
The wildlife conservation reserve will come up on over 126 hectares in Meja forest division known for its rocky, undulating and arid terrain. A herd of around 350 blackbucks is estimated to be inhabiting the region.
It will help in conservation of blackbuck in effective way. It will also create awareness about biodiversity conservation and provide opportunities for people’s participation. It will also encourage eco-tourism and locals will get opportunities for employment.
Indian Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) is an antelope and is the only living species of the genus Antilope. It is considered to be the fastest animal in the world next to Cheetah. The horns of the blackbuck are ringed with one to four spiral turns and the female is usually hornless.
Habitat: Blackbuck inhabits grassy plains and slightly forested areas. Due to its regular need of water, it prefers areas where water is perennially available. It is found in Central- Western India (MP, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Odisha) and Southern India (Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Tamil Nadu).
Protection Status: Hunting of blackbuck is prohibited under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. It has been categorised least concerned in IUCN Red Data Book.
The Bishnoi community of Rajasthan is known worldwide for their conservation efforts to blackbuck and Chinkara.