Elephant corridor being affected by the quarrying and human settlements
Elephant corridor in the Ragihalli state forest area which is a part of Bannerghatta National Park is being affected by the illegal quarrying that takes place in the area as the blasts sound from the quarry affects the elephants who are sensitive to sound.
The illegal quarrying is been happening in the area since many years. The blasts disturb the animals going through the area “The quarries are blasted here every Sunday. There were two quarries in the area one of which is now closed, but the other still continues to run affecting the animals that are sensitive to sound” said Sivarudra, forest office worker.
The elephants are sensitive to sound which makes them go haywire. They trample the fields of the residents and have also hurt people. “The elephants come into our fields, trample them and go away. A person had an injury when he came in contact with an elephant,” said Gowramma, a resident of Byrapahalli. “The situation for us is better now as the compound has been built around which has reduced the elephant encounters,” said Jairam, a fellow resident
The Bannerghatta National Park which was a home to many animals has seen a reduction in the number of animals like lions and tigers where only one or two are left of them as well as the green cover which is reduced from 5000 hectares to around 3000 hectares. The human settlements have been there even before the reduction of the buffer zone. The people say that they have nowhere to go if they are removed from that place.
“The Asian elephant habitat is shrinking very rapidly. Bannerghatta National Park is one of the important parks connecting other forests like Bandipur. The elephants need huge quantity of fodder and water. The mining and drilling affects the elephants as their ears are really big and can hear all the sensitive sounds. It is the most unwise thing to reduce the buffer zone as we can’t predict the behavior of the animals if their habitat area is being taken away from them,” said A.N. Yellappa Reddy, an environmentalist.