WILD ANIMALS AND BIRDS
In Chandrapur district large area is covered with forests which form undisturbed tracts with a very sparse population, mostly of aboriginals. Naturally these forests with the luxurious vegetation are a favourable haunt of a large variety of wild animals that naturally belong to such forests.
Of the wild animals the tiger, hagh, or sher (Panthera tigris) are found to inhabit the dense forests and sheltered valleys in the hilly areas. In the summer they take refuge in the cool and hidden places in the vicinity of stagnant pools of water which are generally not haunted by human beings. The most favourite habitat of the tigers are areas near Kolsa, Moharli, Piperkhute, Kanhargaon, Allapalli, Somanpalli, Bhamragarh, Asola, Ekara, etc. Tigers of fairly large size generally measuring 10 feet and above in length inhabit the areas. The tigers help to keep down
the otherwise bursting population of deer and wild pigs under biotic control. A stray village cattle is frequently a victim of these tigers. Occasionally regular cattle lifters are reported in areas where they scare villagers and the village cattle is killed by the tigers. Man-eaters are practically unknown.
The Panther, Gulbagh, tendua (Panthera pardus) is also found in similar localities as that of the tigers. However, they are more confined to the areas near villages in the forest tracts. They are fairly of a large size. Their number appears to be more as com-pared to that of the tigers. Cattle lifter panthers are common.
The sloth bear, Bhalu Rich or Aswal (Melursus ursinus) is found generally all over the forest tract and is much feared by the local villagers on account of its habit of unprovoked attack. It is more confined to open grassy forests, rocky areas and areas with fruit trees such as ber, Mohawa etc. Well known places of its occurrence are near Pahami, Botezari, Agarzhari and Kanhargaon, etc.
The wild dogs, Jangli Kutta, Ran-Kutra (Cuon alpinus) are quite abundant and are met with in areas near Khadsinghi, Tadoba, Moharli, Kanhargaon and Pedigundam. Generally they remain in packs and chase herbivorous animals like Sambhar and Chital for their prey.
The other carnivorous animals found in this district are the Jackal, Kolha or Shial (Canis aureus), the hyaena, Lakkar bagha, (Hyaena hyaena) the wild cat and ran manjar (Fells chaus).
The herbivorous animals found in this district present a great variety and abundance in numbers. Bison (Gaur, Bibos gaurus) is the largest of the herbivorous animals. They are found in herds or sometimes an isolated bull comes across in areas near Kolsa, Moharli, Allapalli and Pedigundam. It occurs in good numbers and particularly so in the hilly areas of Pedigundam range. But due to the frequency of heavy epidemics of rinder-pest, their number seems to fluctuate considerably. The wild buffalo, Jangli bhaise, (Bubalus bubalis) used to be noticed occasionally in small herds around the Mirkalu tank near Alla palli, where they migrated in small numbers from the adjoining Bastar forests of Madhya Pradesh during spells of hot weather. This tract is rather the limit of their migrational habitat. The deer species are more or less localised to the lower slopes of hilly tracts and to the plain forest. They are found in abundance in Moharli, Kolsa, Mul, Kanhargaon, Charpala, Karampani and Patanil areas. The Sambhar (cerrus unicolor) particularly is very common in denser parts whereas more open areas abound in Chital (Axis). Restricted to certain areas in Khadsanghi, Moharali, Kolsa, Kanhargaon and Pedigundam occurs the four horned antelope jungli bakri (Tetracerus quadricornis). The mouse deer (Moschiola memira) is common in hilly parts of Bhimaram and Pedigundam. On the other hand the Blue Bull, Nilgai, (Boselaphus tragocamelus) is fairly common in the plain open grassy forest areas. The barking deer, khaki (Muntiacus muntiak) the Indian Gazella, Chinkara, Gazella the small deer And the antelope though not very common arc present in these forests. Even the swamp deer, Barasingha, (Cervus duvauceli) was occasionally reported in the Allapalli forests, some two decades back. The black bucks, harina, (Antelops cervicapra) are noticed in thorny and open forest of isolated blocks bounded on all sides by villages near Khadsangi and Rajura.
Their number, however, is very small. The Indian wild bears, Suar (Sus cristatus) is quite common all over the forest areas and adjoining cultivated tracts.
Langur Monkey or commonly called as Bangur makad or bundar, Semnopithecus entellus is present in large number in the forest.
There are also such other animals as hare, Khargosh, Lepus (nigricollis ruficaudatus), Flying squirrels (Petromys fimbrialus), Porcupines, Salrim Hystrix leucura, Pangolin (Manis Crassican-data) and the Indian Ratel, bijoo (Mellivora capensis).
The peafowl, Mor (Pavo cristatus) is the most noticeable and fairly abundant bird in the forest areas. Grey jungle fowl, Jangli murgi (Gallus Sonnerali) is common in the bamboo forests. Spur fowl (Gallopordix spadieus) occurs in restricted areas such as those of Pedigundam range. Grey and painted partridges, titar (Francolinus spp.) abound in the open grassy areas along with a variety of quails, bater, coturnix coturnix. The population of aquatic birds is limited due to small water spread in the tanks particularly in the dry and hot period of the year. Even then whistling teal (Dendrocygna javanicd), common teals (Nettapus coromandelianus) are usually found in summer while during the winter variety of species of ducks, (Sarkidiornis Spp.) are found in the tanks. The snipes (Capella gallinago) are seen in the rice fields and around. Green pigeons, hariyal (Phoenico prerus Crocopus) are found in large flocks all over the district in the cold season.
In this district an area of 45.57 sq. miles around Tadoba lake is constituted as a national park in which complete protection is given to the existing wild life. Most of the wild animals found in the forest areas of the district are met with in this park. The herds of Chital, Sambhar, Blue-bull, bisons, wild boars arc often seen round the lake. Occasionally a tiger, panther or a sloth bear is also noticed. The birds are also found in large numbers around the lake in addition to crocodiles and different varieties of fish.