Blackbuck conservation reserves in India:
- There are a few national parks and sanctuaries inhabited by blackbucks in the country, like the Velavadar Wildlife Sanctuary (in Gujarat) and the Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary (in Karnataka). However, there are not many conservation reserves exclusively dedicated to the antelope.
Benefits of the conservation reserve:
- It will help in conserving the blackbuck in an effective way.
- It will create an awareness about biodiversity conservation.
- It will provide opportunities for people’s participation.
- It will help in encouraging the eco-tourism of the state.
- It will help in providing employment opportunity to the local residents of the area.
- It is also known as the Indian antelope.
- Geographic range:- The Blackbuck formerly occurred across almost the whole of the Indian subcontinent south of the Himalayas.
- Their range decreased during the 20th century and they are now extinct in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
- Blackbuck are still present in the terai zone of Nepal.
- The species has been introduced to the United States of America (Texas) and Argentina.
Habitat and Ecology:-
- The species inhabits open grassland, dry thorn scrub, scrubland and lightly-wooded country as well as agricultural margins, where it is often seen feeding in fields.
- It requires the water daily, which restricts its distribution to areas where surface water is available for the greater part of the year.
- They are primarily grazers but lack of grasses forces it to depend on leaf litter, flowers and fruits.
- They are mainly sedentary, but in summer may move longer distances in search of water and forage.
- Blackbuck declined sharply during the 20th century due to unsustainable hunting. Although they are now protected but some are still shot illegally.
- Blackbuck have disappeared from many areas due to habitat destruction (conversion to agricultural use)
- Blackbuck is fully protected by law in India.
- Blackbuck occur in many protected areas, including Velavadar Blackbuck Sanctuary in Gujarat and Point Calimere Wildlife Sanctuary in the far south of India.
- The species is listed in CITES Appendix III (in Nepal).
Section : Environment & Ecology