Hyderabad might have turned into a concrete jungle but the good news to wildlife enthusiasts is that forests in the neighbouring districts like Rangareddy, Vikarabad, Sangareddy and Medak still harbour a variety of carnivores. When Express spoke to the district forest officers of the four districts, the last day of the three-day carnivore census conducted across the state, it came to light that the presence of the striped hyena, wild dog, wolf, bear, fox, jackal, jungle cat and palm civet was noted in the forests of these districts apart from the presence of leopard in Rangareddy, Medak and Sangareddy districts.

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This calls for concerted conservation measures by the government in these districts so that these animals are not flushed out as those in the neighbouring Medchal district where not even a single carnivore was noted even though the district has 8,919 hectares of forest, about half of which is under the Forest Development Corporation and the rest is encroached or degraded due to uncontrolled urbanisation as the district is home to Hyderabad’s suburbs such as Ghatkesar, Uppal, Kukatpally, Balanagar, Alwal and Quthbullapur.

The presence of the Indian wild dog, also known as Dhole, that is listed as ‘endangered’ by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), fox, jackal, jungle cat and palm civet was found in all four districts whereas the presence of the striped hyena, which is listed as ‘near-threatened’ by IUCN, was detected in Sangareddy, Medak and Rangareddy districts. These three districts, apart from Medak, also are home to wolves.

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Medak stands out as one of the most vibrant districts around Hyderabad. Padmaja Rani, Medak DFO, said that out of the 98 forest beats in Medak, samples like pug marks were collected from 16 beats. Not just this. The presence of the sloth bear was also noted in Medak. The hyena was also seen in some of the degraded forest areas where no carnivores were expected to be found, most probably due to less human interference there, she said. Vishnu Vardhan Rao, forest range officer of Rangareddy district, said the presence of leopard was noted in two reserved forest compartments in Yacharam and Manchal mandals as well as in the forests of Ibrahimpatnam. #KhabarLive

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