Debrigarh Sanctuary

Context: Debrigarh, a wildlife sanctuary in Odisha’s Bargarh district, has been made completely free from any human settlement following one of the country’s largest ‘peaceful’ relocations of forest-dwellers.

image 147

About Debrigarh wildlife sanctuary:

  • As per the Odisha Forest and Environment department, Debrigarh Sanctuary, which is proposed to be a tiger reserve, has high prey base (46 animals per sq. km).
  • It is located in the Bargarh district in the Indian state of Odisha, covering a total area of 346.91 km2
  • The sanctuary is flanked by Hirakud Reservoir which is a Ramsar Site and International Bird Area.
  •  It boasts of having 82 leopards and one Royal Bengal Tiger, besides wild animals such as Bison, Leopard, Sambar, wild boar, spotted deer, wild dog, porcupine and Nilgai. 
  • The sanctuary is home to more than 40 species of mammals, 234 species of birds, 41 species of reptiles, 12 species of amphibians, 65 species of fishes and 85 species of butterflies
image 148
aL5i9Q48FYHWJfdzF1Y2JizgsAVTlc1lneEo72864RclC75 qUqMFiNZYH11I56Ojwi2

About Hirakud Reservoir

  • It is one of the largest man-made reservoirs in India, built across the Mahanadi River.
  • The reservoir helps regulate the water level of the river and moderates the impact of floods in the Mahanadi Delta.

The complete removal of human settlements from Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary in Odisha’s Bargarh district has several positive impacts on the sanctuary and its inhabitants:

  • Conservation of biodiversity: By removing human settlements, the sanctuary can now be better protected and conserved as a natural habitat for various wildlife species. It allows for the restoration and preservation of the ecological balance, ensuring the survival and well-being of the flora and fauna in the area.
  • Habitat restoration: The removal of human settlements enables the natural habitats within the sanctuary to recover and regenerate. The absence of human activities such as agriculture, grazing, and infrastructure development allows the ecosystem to rejuvenate, promoting the growth of native plant species and enhancing the overall health of the habitat.
  • Wildlife protection: The relocation of forest-dwellers helps reduce human-wildlife conflict significantly. It provides a safer environment for wildlife by minimizing the chances of poaching, illegal hunting, and encroachments. Animals can roam freely without disturbance, ensuring their natural behaviour and population growth.

Example- The positive impact of this relocation was immediately evident when a tiger from the neighbouring Chhattisgarh crossed over into Debrigarh which is spread over 353.81 sq. km area and there was visible drop in incidences of man-animal conflict.

  • Ecotourism and research opportunities: The transformation of Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary into a human-free zone creates opportunities for ecotourism and scientific research. The sanctuary’s pristine state and undisturbed ecosystems attract nature enthusiasts, researchers, and wildlife experts, who can study the unique flora and fauna, contributing to scientific knowledge and eco-consciousness.
  • Water conservation: The absence of human settlements reduces anthropogenic activities that may impact water sources such as rivers, streams, and wetlands. This can help in maintaining the water quality, preserving water bodies, and sustaining the overall hydrological balance within the sanctuary.
  • Carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation: The restoration of the sanctuary allows for the growth and preservation of forests, which act as crucial carbon sinks. By maintaining and expanding the forest cover, Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary contributes to mitigating climate change by sequestering carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • Education and awareness: The successful relocation of forest-dwellers from Debrigarh Wildlife Sanctuary serves as an example of sustainable conservation practices. It raises awareness about the importance of preserving natural habitats and encourages people to adopt similar measures in other regions, promoting a culture of environmental stewardship and wildlife conservation.

2 thoughts on “Debrigarh Sanctuary

    1. You’re welcome!

      If you have any other questions or requests, please don’t hesitate to ask.

      I wish you all the best in your preparation for the UPSC Civil Services Examination!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 20 MB. You can upload: image, document, archive, other. Drop files here

Online Counselling
Table of Contents
Today's Current Affairs
This is default text for notification bar