Restricting human traffic in Kathlore has improved the population of national bird peacock and other species in the wildlife sanctuary.
The 1,850-acre reserve 22 kilometers from Pathankot is the only protected habitat in the district for species such as hog deer, sambhar, wild boar, and jungle cat. Deforestation in Dinanagar area had destroyed peacock habitat and exposed the bird to poachers.
The bird needs a peaceful place to nest and flourish. "We now have spotted nearly 400 peacocks in different groups in the area, which confirms that their population has improves after the restrictions," said district forest officer (wildlife) Rajesh Mahajan.
The sanctuary now has three zones: outer, which people can enter with permission; buffer, where only the forest department teams can go; and core, where no one is allowed. "This has helped save the peacock habitats," said the DFO.
Two forest guards and five daily-wage workers maintain round-the-clock vigil in the area. A fire line of 20.
kilometres protects the birds from blaze. The clearing of weed in about 50 acres has provided the bird with its feed of worms and other insects.
The area will soon recover to be an attractive spot for tourists, DFO Mahajan has said.