LUCKNOW: A wildlife conservation reserve dedicated exclusively to the blackbuck is coming up over 126 hectares in the trans-Yamuna region of Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh.
The state cabinet has approved a Blackbuck Conservation Reserve in the Meja forest division that is known for its rocky, undulating and arid terrain, reports The Hindu.
A herd of around 350 blackbucks is estimated to be inhabiting the region, senior government official Sanjay Kumar told The Hindu .
There are a few national parks and sanctuaries inhabited by blackbuck in the country, like the Velavadar Wildlife Sanctuary in Gujarat and the Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary in Karnataka. However, there are not many conservation reserves exclusively dedicated to the antelope.
Mr. Kumar, who as a former District Magistrate of Allahabad, played a vital role in conceptualising the reserve, mobilising local cooperation and getting the project approved, says it is the “first ever conservation reserve” of any kind in U.P.
Blackbucks, known for their majestic spiral horns and coat colour contrasts, are found in grasslands and open forests.
They once ruled the open savannahs of north and central India, but are now restricted to just a few patches and habitats, primarily due to human population growth, ecosystem degradation and hunting.