Cyclists from Karnataka Pedal to Save Elephant Corridors During 66th Wildlife Week
Kodagu: Karnataka Forest Department, as part of the 66th Wildlife Week 2020, had initiated a CYCLOTHON to create awareness towards Saving the Elephant Corridors. They selected 2 routes passing through the major elephant corridors of Karnataka in Shivamogga and Madikeri.
The CYCLOTHON that started on October 2 would complete the course by October 6. The route 1 started from Belgaum passing through Dandeli – Sirsi – Jogfalls – Sacrebail Elephant Camp and culminating at Muthodi. The route 2 started from Murlthodi passing through, Sakaleshpur – Kushalnagar – Dubare Elephant Camp -Nagarahole – Mysore culminating at Bengaluru.
More than 50 cyclists from WE R Cycling Mangaluru, Bengaluru and Mysuru, participated in the Cyclothon “Pedal to save Elephant Corridors”, organized by the Karnataka Forest Kodagu in association with ICYCLE Bengaluru from Kushalnagar here on October 4.
The Cyclothon “Pedal to save Elephant Corridors”, was flagged off by the Kodagu Deputy Commissioner Annies Kanmani, by pedalling the cycle at Kaveri Nisargadhama.
Addressing the gathering, DC Annies Kanmani said, “Welcome all the cyclists to Kodagu. You have come from various districts, and we all are together for a good cause. On behalf of the Kodagu District administration, I extend all the cyclists a warm welcome. Kodagu is 95 percent eco-sensitive if you compare it to other districts, it is entirely a hilly Terrain. This is an excellent initiative to save the elephant corridors. Today the cyclists will pedal to save the elephant corridors, I would like to request all the cyclists to complete the 80 km ride. I will join you all and pedal as much as I can. I wish all the cyclists the best and thank you all for your participation in large numbers”.
Kodagu Zilla Panchayath CEO Bhanwar Singh Meena IAS, said, “Today we are inaugurating the Wildlife week “Vultures for future”. Vulture is one of the most important bird in the Eco-system, which contributes to our environment. We are trying to bring the vultures back through different plans called “Vultures for the future”. Today we are also inaugurating Cycling to save the elephant corridors, we all know that from North Karnataka, Belgaum to the Western ghats area was one of the biggest elephant corridors in the world. Now it has been fragmented. Kodagu is now one of the highest elephant conflict areas because of mismanagement of the corridors and unnecessary development”.
Professor in Botany at the Forestry College at Ponnampete, Coorg Jade Gowda briefing on the issues said, “Along with Cycling you should understand biodiversity. The total geographic area of the world is 13 billion hectares, of which 4 billion hectares is forest area. In India, we have 329 million hectares total geographic area and 67 million hectares is forest cover which is very less. Kodagu is the smallest district in Karnataka State. The total geographical area of the district is 4102 Square Kilometres. Out of this 1345.97 Square Kilometres, (32.8%) of the area is consists of forest. It is larger than the state as well as the National average.. Tiger is a top carnivorous animal which needs 100 sq km area having 500 to 600 animal. If there is a tiger in any area, it is an indicator of a good eco-system. We have the Nandi tree which is also called the “naked lady of the forest”. Nandi tree provides shade to coffee plants and it is used to make furniture too. The tree sheds its bark which grows three times in a year”.
All the cyclists reached Dubare Reserve Forest for breakfast and were taken to the Elephant Palace having 28 elephants by boats. After breakfast, the riders continued Cycling and halted for lunch at Tittimati. After lunch, the riders continued their ride towards Nittur. The 80 km ride ended at Nittur, and a grand welcome was given to all the cyclists by the forest department.
RFO Srinivas, Dy RFO Vilas, IPS officers Nilesh Shinde and Sourabh and others were also present.