Why in News
- Several cases of wild elephants dying of electrocution near the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary in Karnataka have been reported recently.
Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary
- It was constituted in 1987 under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1973 for the purpose of Protecting, Propagating or developing Wildlife and its environment.
- It consists of reserve forests in Chamarajnagar, Ramanagar and Mandya Districts of Karnataka State.
- The river Cauvery forms the boundary of the sanctuary and also gives it its name.
- Cauvery supports a diversified aquatic fauna, predominant species being Crocodiles (listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act), Otters and Hump-backed Mahseer Fish.
- Scientific name: Tor remadevii.
- These are large freshwater fish, also called the tiger of the water and found only in the Cauvery river basin (including Kerala’s Pambar, Kabini and Bhavani rivers). It is critically endangered in the IUCN’s red list.
NOTE: The Wildlife Protection Act states that no person shall hunt any ‘wild animal’. Most of the freshwater fishes are included within the definition of ‘wildlife’ and not ‘wild animal’ under the Indian Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972. Therefore, majority of fishes are not protected under the act.