About Bandipur National Park and Forest Fires

About Bandipur National Park

  • Bandipur National Park is located in Chamarajanagar district of Karnataka.
  • It constitutes of forest landscape comprising Nagarahole (Karnataka), Mudumalai and Sathyamangalam (Tamil Nadu) and Wayanad (Kerala).
  • Bandipur constitutes an integral part of ‘Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve’ along with.
    • Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu
    • Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in Kerala
    • Nagarhole National Park in Karnataka
  • Bandipur was established as a Tiger Reserve in 1974 after Project Tiger. As per NRCA data the tiger reserve is home to nearly 120 to 150 tigers.
  • As a part of Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, it is the largest habitat of wild elephants in South Asia.
  • It is declared as Eco-Sensitize Zone under Environment Protection Rules, 1986.
  • Forest Type
    • Mixture of dry deciduous forests, moist deciduous forests and shrublands. The wide range of habitats help support a diverse range of organisms.
  • Natural inhabitants
    • Gaur, sambhar, chital, mouse deer, four-horned antelope, wild dogs, wild boar, jackal, sloth bear, panther, malabar squirrel, porcupines, jungle fowl.
  • Other Facts
    • Kabini river flows in the northern part of the park



In Brief: Forest Fires

  • Forest fires can occur because of both natural and man-made causes.
  • Man-made causes contribute to more than 90% of forest fires in India.


Manmade causes behind forest fires

  • Villagers set the forests on fire in the hope of fresh grass.
  • Increase in temperature causes inflammable materials in the forests get ignited.
  • People’s negligence, a lit cigarette or bidi.
  • Attempts to convert forest land into agricultural land.
  • Fire caused by poachers and timber smugglers.
  • Burning of waste in illegal dumps.
  • Shifting cultivation practice by the locals
  • Tourist activities like camp-fire etc.


Impact of Forest Fires

  • Loss of life.
  • They change wildlife habitats.
  • Fire changes the proportion, arrangement and characteristic of habitats across the landscape.
  • Temporary loss of food and shelter causes displacement of territorial birds and mammals, upsetting the ecological balance.


Way Forward

  • Need for post-fire management.
  • Better monitoring of reserve forest areas
  • Soil and moisture conservation needs to be carried out.
  • Recruit more people during the forest fire season.


Section : Environment & Ecology