Caught down the wire: Punjab’s blackbuck fight for existence

  1. Number of blackbuck deaths in Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary (AWS) has raised serious concern. The AWS is an open sanctuary and comprises 13 villages of Bishnoi belt in Abohar Tehsil area of Ferozpur district, Punjab.
  2. The blackbuck, an antelope, was notified as the state animal of Punjab in 1989. In Punjab, it is only found in Abohar Wildlife Sanctuary. This is because semi-arid plains consisting agricultural fields, intermittent fallow lands, scattered sand dunes, sand mounds and ridges provide suitable habitat for the animal.
  3. The hunting of blackbuck is prohibited in India under Schedule I of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.