| Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve
JAYAMANGALI BLACKBUCK CONSERVATION RESERVE
Jayamangali (Maidenahalli) Blackbuck Conservation Reserve is Tumkur District's only notified protected area. Next to this is the small village, Maidenahalli, in Madhugiri Taluk, at the north-eastern corner of Tumkur district of Karnataka.
The area occupies 798 acre patch of grassland with Eucalyptus and Acacia auriculiformis. Jayamangali Reserve has the largest contiguous population of Blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra) in Karnataka, apart from Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary.
The open grasslands of peninsular India were once widespread across the Deccan Plateau. Post- independence, however, they have shrunk to isolated patches thanks to immense pressure for cultivation, human habitation and other reasons that also include industrialisation. In 1987, the forest department of Tumakuru Division began protecting the area when the blackbuck's presence was brought to their notice. In 1992, after sustained efforts by the forest department, the jurisdiction of the area was handed over from the Revenue Department to the Forest department. The Forest Department then fenced a portion of the area and raised a nursery. A concrete watchtower was erected along with two wood houses and watchmen sheds. But, the ownership of the land still rested with the revenue department.
Tumakuru's nature lovers worked hard to have the area granted the status of a Protected Area, like a wildlife sanctuary. The first ever Status Survey report on the area was published by Tumakuru-based Wildlife Aware Nature Club (WANC) in 1997. This helped the wildlife wing of Karnataka Forest Department to source data on this area and recommend it be declared a 'Conservation Reserve'. The Government of Karnataka accepted this proposal. In February 2007, vide Government Order No: FEE 342 FWL 05, 798.33 acres (3.2307 km2) of the area was finally notified as Jayamangali Blackbuck Conservation Reserve, (though the original area proposed to be included in this Conservation Reserve was 893 acres). Thus, Tumkur District's first protected area was born.
Jayamangali (Maidanahalli) Blackbuck Conservation Reserve has the second largest contiguous population of Blackbuck in Karnataka, after Ranibennur Blackbuck Sanctuary.
The climate varies greatly according to the seasons- from a minimum of 8 degrees Celsius in winter to a maximum of 43 degrees Celsius in summer. The rainy season is from late June to mid-October. The average rainfall is approximately 300 to 350 mm. The geographical co-ordinates of the forest watch tower inside this area are 13 44' 20" N and 7 19' 41" E.