‘Large pits dug for moisture conservation in forests could have adverse impact’

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Bhubaneswar: The Wildlife Society of Odisha (WSO) has claimed that large craters dug to conserve moisture in forests can have a negative impact on wildlife.

In a letter sent to Odisha’s Chief Conservation Forest Officer (PCCF), the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) highlighted that the state’s forest department has been digging a number of large holes in the reserve forest over the past four to five years with the aim of improving the moisture level. .

The World Public Health Organization has informed the PCCF that such an orientation of the department may adversely affect plants and animals. Based on statistical information provided by wildlife experts, the WSO demanded the immediate withdrawal of the division’s action.

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WSO Secretary Biswajeet Mohanty has attached several photos of the pits, taken in a teak forest in Kamakhyanagar District under the Dhenkanal Division, in an official letter to Odisha PCCF.

“The forest floor is essential for the animals that live in their wild habitats. Large holes dug into the forest floor can lead to an imbalance between the environment and wildlife conservation as well. As the naturally cultivated forest houses different types of animals, the holes often hurt and impede their movement. Sometimes, it is seen that tree roots are also cut down while digging large holes. Gradually, an old hole is covered with grass and weeds, thus turning into a death trap for animals when pursued by hunters and predators,” says the OIE letter.

The forest floor accommodates most reptiles, and digging holes near trees is destroying their wild habitats. It hinders reproduction, the egg-laying process and the free movement of younger reptiles.

Seeds falling from trees into large pits are often damaged as they are dug. As a result, the natural process of seed germination and creation of forest cover is affected, says the WHO letter.


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