Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Cyclone Biparjoy: Forest Department in Junagadh takes precautionary measures

Amid severe cyclonic storm Biparjoy likely to make a landfall in Gujarat on Thursday evening, the Forest Department in Junagadh has geared up to ensure the safety of wildlife and human lives, taken proactive measures and deployed teams.

It is closely monitoring habitats of lions in collaboration with local authorities and experts. Vigilance and constant patrols are being carried out to assess the situation and respond promptly to any potential risks. The focus remains on protecting and preserving the diverse wildlife.

To effectively manage the situation, it has established 21 control rooms across the region. These control rooms serve as operational hubs for coordinating emergency responses and facilitating effective communication among the teams.

The primary objective of the Forest Department is to protect and safeguard the wildlife during this calamity. Recognising the significance of this task, a total of 500 forest workers, including Deputy Forest Officers (DFOs) and Range Forest Officers (RFOs), are conducting patrols in the affected areas.

Specifically, 51 dedicated forest workers have been deployed to focus on the protection of wildlife. They are actively involved in monitoring the movement and habitats of lions, leopards, and other wildlife species.

The Forest Department is particularly attentive to the regions of Amreli, Jafarabad, Rajula, and Jasadhara, where lion populations reside.

In addition to monitoring wildlife, it is also prioritising the safety and well-being of forest personnel. Currently, they have stationed forest workers in prominent locations such as Amreli, Jafarabad, and Madhavpur. These areas are witnessing an increased presence of forest personnel to ensure efficient response and immediate assistance during the cyclone.

Why Junagadh holds special importance?

Gir comes under Junagadh district and the protection of Gir animals is the priority. Here’s why: Gir is home to an array of fauna, and boasts a diverse ecosystem comprising approximately 2,375 distinct species. This includes 38 mammal species, around 300 bird species, 37 reptile species, and over 2,000 insect species.

Among the prominent carnivores found in Gir are the Asiatic lion, Indian leopard, jungle cat, striped hyena, golden jackal, Bengal fox, Indian gray mongoose, ruddy mongoose, and honey badger. While the Asiatic wildcat and rusty-spotted cat are also present, they are rarely spotted.

The herbivore population includes chital, nilgai, sambar, four-horned antelope, chinkara, and wild boar, with occasional sightings of blackbucks from the surrounding areas. Additionally, smaller mammals such as porcupines and hares are common, while the pangolin is a rare sight.

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