Jannaram Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary

Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary in the Jannaram forests of Mancherial district in Telangana has been declared as the 42nd tiger reserve in the country in 2012.

According to the department sources, the Kawal wildlife sanctuary has about 20 tigers as per an unofficial count. "By notifying it as a tiger reserve, we expect an increase in the number of tigers," a forest department official said.

Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary is one of the important wildlife sanctuaries in Telangana. The Kawal sanctuary houses various animals and several varieties of flora and fauna are seen here. If you want to get a glimpse of wild animals in their natural habitat, then, the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary is a must see place. 

This Wildlife Sanctuary gives you a picturesque view of retreat. Every corner of this sanctuary is filled with adventure and thrill. Thousands of tourists visit this secluded animal kingdom to experience the thrills amidst wild beasts of the region. This sanctuary is located in the Mancherial district which is 50 kilometers from Mancherial and 250 kilometers from Hyderabad. The wildlife sanctuary is a dry and dense forest with teak, bamboo and many other varieties of trees. During summer, the Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary witnesses hot and dry climate. But the monsoon season that commences from June and continues till September adds life to the forest and makes it bliss. Winter is the perfect season to visit the sanctuary. 

The sanctuary houses several species animals including Cheetal, Sambar, Barking Deer, Nilgai, Sloth Bear, Indian Bison, Panther and Tiger. Tourists can also find reptiles like Crocodile, Python, Monitor Lizard, Star Tortoise and Cobra, in this wildlife sanctuary. This tourist spot also provides jeep safaris, and bird watching trips to spot several rare animals in their habitat.
“The tiger has finally arrived at Kawal,” stated a jubilant Jannaram Divisional Forest Officer, G. Ravinder, after he saw pug marks of the big cat near Dongapalli and Kawal villages within a span of a week earlier this month. “It will be safe here,” he observed, alluding to the safety of a highly improved habitat that Kawal Tiger Reserve (KTR) has become since its inception in 2012.

Kawal was declared a tiger reserve without the presence of even a single wild cat only because it had the potential of regaining its past glory. It’s spread in an area of 893 sq km of dense tropical dry deciduous forest to which about 1,120 sq km of buffer area was added subsequently.

It was assumed, which now seems to have been done rightly, that given proper conservation of the place there is a huge possibility of tigers migrating from Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur adjoining Sirpur (T) forest in Adilabad district to their once glorious habitat of Kawal. “This tiger would have come from the TATR and travelled across Malini, Asifabad, Tiryani, Sirpur (U) before coming down the hilly range into KTR,” says KTR research associate Jogu Yellam.

As the tiger is an animal which is continuously on the move, it needs a completely safe habitat to become native, says Imran Siddqui of the Hyderabad Tiger Conservation Society (HyTICOS), an NGO working towards tiger conservation in KTR. The government needs to look hard into this aspect as making the habitat safer involves voluntary relocation of villages to cut down human interference inside the forests.

The danger posed by anthropogenic disturbance to the survival of the big cat has been stressed upon in many scientific studies conducted at different Tiger Reserves across the country.

For example, the study ‘Glucocorticoid stress responses of reintroduced tigers in relation to anthropogenic disturbance in Sariska Tiger Reserve in India’ by Subhadeep Bhattarjee and other published in the Public Library of Science in June this year and ‘Studies to determine presence or absence of Indian tiger in Kawal Wildlife Sanctuary’ by P. Anuradha Reddy and others of CCMB, Hyderabad, published in the European Journal of Wildlife Research in November 2010, make a vivid mention of the phenomenon.

The villagers of Dongapalli, Alinagar, Malial, Maisampet and Rampur located in the core area of KTR want to be relocated, yet the government is dithering the issue. The villagers are ready to accept the generous relocation package on offer.

Meanwhile, the troubling part is the decrease in the population of prey animals. Though the latest animal census figures have not been released yet, the population of ungulates and wild pigs decreased in 2014 to 4,300 and 2,500 from 6,000 each in 2013.