In News: 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.
Tal Chhapar blackbuck sanctuary:
- 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.
- The 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.
- 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.
- Blackbuck is believed to be the second-fastest animal after Cheetah.
- Punjab’s State animal: Blackbuck
- Blackbucks have religious significance in Hindu mythology and the Bishnoi tribe of Rajasthan is famous for its conservation efforts for Blackbuck.
Source: The Hindu
Previous Year Questions
Q1.) With reference to India’s Desert National Park, which of the following statements are correct? (2020)
- It is spread over two districts.
- There is no human habitation inside the Park.
- It is one of the natural habitats of Great Indian Bustard.
Select the correct answer using the code given below:
- 1 and 2 only
- 2 and 3 only
- 1 and 3 only
- 1, 2 and 3