Ongoing construction of a canal is threatening a sprawling wildlife corridor spread over Chandrapur and Bhandara districts in eastern Maharashtra, the Forest Department officials have said.
The department, rattled over the recent incidents of tiger attacks on humans, deaths of a couple of leopards, fears possible breach of wildlife corridor between Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), Protected Forest Area under Brahmapuri Division and the forests in adjoining Paoni area of Bhandara district due to the ongoing work on Gosikhurd Right Canal.
Two persons were killed and one was seriously injured in tiger attacks between March 18 and March 27, while two leopards were found dead in Brahmapuri Division between April 4 and April 7.
The second leopard was found trapped in the stack of centering materials used in the construction of canal under Gosikhurd Irrigation Project (GIP) near village Bhujgaon.
The officials said TATR is like a nucleus of wildlife which keep migrating to the adjoining areas for various natural reasons from time to time.
As per official data, the tiger population in territorial area is more than that in TATR. As per the recent Census, there are 28 tigers in Chandrapur Division in addition to another six tigers which keep migrating from and to TATR followed by 20 tigers in Brahmapuri Division and 11-12 tigers in Central Chanda Division, informed G R K Rao, Conservator of Forests, Chandrapur Division.
There is an alarming rise in man-animal conflict in the recent times. A careful observation and study points the needle at the recent activities of construction of Gosikhurd Right Canal in Brahmapuri Division, he said.