Fires ravage wildlife sancturies in South India
Forest fires
:  Fires are ravaging wild life sanctuaries and reserve forests in South India.

Satellites have recorded more than 100 fires in the Western Ghats during 48 hours ended on February 28 afternoon. Many of these were in protected areas.

Fires have occurred in Nagarhole National Park (Karnataka) Mudumalai National Park (Tamil Nadu), Periyar Tiger Reserve in Kerala, Parambikulam Wayanad, Peechi-Vazhani, Shendurney and Neyyar wildlife sanctuaries in Kerala, Anamalai Wildlife Sanctuary in Tamil Nadu, and Kudremukh and Shettihalli wild life sanctuaries in Karnataka.  Fires have consumed large areas in Shettithalli Wildlife Sanctuary.

A warm summer without summer rains for some time now has contributed to intensification of the fires which are invariably man-made. Forest dwellers, poachers and other plunderers of forests, tourists, villagers grazing cattle and collecting minor forest produce are all known to cause fires.  Forest officials themselves are behind some fires. Often the kindling of large number of fires is the result of forest departmentsí failure to take precautionary measures.

[Map created using MODIS Web mapper shows fires that have occurred in protected areas (light green). Red squares indicate fires within 24 hours. Orange squares show fires on the previous day. Names of some of the wildlife sancturies are not shown. The lower portion of area marked Shendurney is Peppara and Neyyar wildlife sanctuaries.

Mudumalai National Park is contiguous to the Wayanad and Bandipur sanctuaries and is on the lower right side of the marked area. Silent Valley National Park is between Parambikulam and Wayanad sanctuaries. Fires occurred in forests on the East and North of the Valley as can be seen on the map. Most of the fires recorded in the map are in forest areas.]

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