Tal Chhapar sanctuary - The Hindu - 20/12/22

The Tal Chhapar blackbuck sanctuary in Rajasthan has received a protective cover against a proposed move of the State government to reduce the size of its eco-sensitive zone.
The World Wildlife Fund for Nature (WWF) has taken up a major project for the conservation of raptors in the sanctuary, spread in an area measuring 7.19 sq. km. The court recently ordered a “complete prohibition” on any action to reduce the wildlife sanctuary’s area.
->District: Churu, Rajasthan. Nokha-Sikar highway passes through the sanctuary. Jaswantgarh forest block in Nagaur district is situated at a short distance from Tal Chhapar.

-About 4,000 blackbucks, over 40 species of raptors and more than 300 species of resident and migratory birds.
-The raptors, which include predators and scavengers, are on top of the food chain and control the populations of small mammals, birds and reptiles as well as insects.
-The sanctuary earlier had a large population of desert foxes and similar burrowing animals, while the large colonies of the only herbivorous lizard, the spiny-tailed lizard, exist as the prey base for raptors.
-Migratory birds arrive here for their winter sojourn.

-Increase in human population around the sanctuary, and unplanned and rampant construction activities.
-Hyper-aridity, grazing pressure, the invasive weed Prosopis juliflora, and salt mines in the vicinity.
T-he sanctuary’s area is insufficient for its large blackbuck population.

-WWF-India’s Raptor Conservation Programme – recording the numbers of birds of prey and their population trends, behaviour and feeding habits would give an insight on how they were thriving or declining.

-->Black buck:
The blackbuck also known as the Indian antelope, is an antelope found in India, Nepal, and Pakistan. The blackbuck is the sole extant member of the genus Antilope. In India, hunting of blackbuck is prohibited under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act of 1972. The blackbuck is listed as least concern on the IUCN Red List.

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