Close to 100 antelopes have perished in the region comprising Jodhpur and Barmer districts of Rajasthan in the past week with a senior forest official citing dehydration as the possible reason for the deaths.
"We identified habitats of antelopes and arranged water but they are so spread out that some places are left out. But now we have made it a point to provide water at every possible place," Chief Conservator (Wildlife) M L Meena said.
The deaths have mainly occured in Adarsh Chawa village in Barmer. The villagers allege that there was no sufficient fodder and water for the animals to survive.
Yesterday, a team of forest officials visited another village Bhacharna, where several endangered black bucks have died, and conducted postmortem on five animals, the report of which is awaited, he said.
The scattered carcass of 36 black bucks were buried in the presence of the officials. Meena said though dehydration may be the cause of the deaths, the team sent viscera of the animals to the Wildlife Institutes of Dehradun and Bareilly for detailed testing.
Meanwhile, activists of Bishnoi Tiger Vanya evam Paryavaran Sanstha held a dharna before the Jodhpur Forest Department office while carrying carcass of 25 Chinkaras alleging negligence on the part of authorities.
"We have demanded the removal of the present DFO for his negligence despite the regular deaths due to unavailability of water in the villages," the NGO head Ram Niwas Budhnagar said.