Berhampur, May 9 (LocalWire): The extremely severe cyclone Fani proved to be a boon for the endangered blackbucks in Ganjam district. The water reservoirs which were on the verge of drying up have been recharged with the pre-monsoon showers.
‘The downpour on the eve of the cyclone on last Thursday filled up the water bodies and helped recharge them,’ said divisional forest officer, Ghumusar South, Satya Narayan Behura.
Forest department has dug up two ponds at Bhetanai and near Gunthupada under Aska forest range for the blackbucks and they have been sighted roaming in the area.
Ganjam is the only place where these endangered animals are found. The population of blackbucks in the district was enumerated at 4082 in the census held in February last year as against 3806 in 2015 and 2194 in 2011, official sources said.
Blackbucks often strayed outside their habitats in search of water during the summer months and died in road accidents. At least three blackbucks died in Aska in the last four months, officials said.
Besides blackbucks, other wild animals also frequented these artificial ponds thoughout the year, said the forest range officer, Aska, Harihar Mallick.
Before the area was deluged by the cyclone, forest officials and wildlife activists placed pots of water for the animals, he added. The DFO also said that the cyclone did not affect any blackbuck or its habitat.