The status of Chinkara Gazella bennettii (Mammalia: Cetartiodactyla: Bovidae) at Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary, Supe, Baramati, Pune and a note on its current distribution in the southwestern region of the Deccan Plateau of Maharashtra, India

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Mahesh Chandrakant Gaikwad
Sujit Shivaji Narwade


We conducted monthly road surveys for encounter rates of Chinkara Gazella bennettii in Mayureshwar Wildlife Sanctuary (MWS), Supe Baramati, Pune from June 2011 to May 2012.  The sighting records of Chinkara were collected from opportunistic surveys conducted in adjoining areas of the Sanctuary, up to a distance of 200km in the southwestern region of the Deccan plateau, Maharashtra. We observed that the Chinkara was facing threats from habitat depletion, including in MWS which was declared a sanctuary for their protection.  Road widening projects such as the four lane Pune-Solapur National Highway runs 13km on its northern side and a district highway from Ahmednagar to Satara running north-south from the boundary of the Sanctuary have been proposed.  Other threats like vehicular movement from tar roads crossing the sanctuary, a proposed underground canal, a major irrigation canal to be constructed along the boundary of the sanctuary, and the increasing number of fenced plots for new residential and other development projects are responsible for the reduction in suitable habitats of the Chinakara.  It appears that within a few years, the sanctuary will become an isolated patch of protected grassland, affecting the smooth movement of Chinkara within and beyond the sanctuary limits.  Therefore, the remaining population of Chinkara from the entire human dominated landscape will struggle for survival.


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