Destruction of mangrove cover in the Bandar Reserve Forest (BRF) is forcing the golden jackal (Canis aureus) out of its habitat, triggering a conflict with the local communities.

The Hindu
documented how a young golden jackal was swimming in the brackish waters, away from its habitat, looking for prey near the Palletummalapalem village in Machilipatnam mandal in Krishna district.

“We have recorded several golden jackals in the BRF through camera traps. The sighting, out of its habitat, is a sign of its destruction,” said A. Appa Rao, an expert engaged in the restoration of the mangrove cover.

The conservation status of the animal is the ‘least concern’ and it preys on wild crab and fish.

Amid uproar over the aqua ponds, the Vigilance authorities in 2017 recommended to the State government to hand over the 24,363 acres under the BRF and the BRF extension (I to IV) to the Forest department for protection.

Helpless authorities

Since 1970 (G.O.No. 2204), the BRF has been in the hands of the Revenue department as the final notification to de-reserve the forest land (25,259 acres) was still pending owing to various reasons. The Revenue authorities, on the other hand, are helpless in preventing the encroachment of the mangrove along the Machilipatnam coastline.

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