HC requests report on advocacy to declare slender loris habitats as sanctuary

Madurai

Madurai High Court Madras Court on Tuesday ordered the state to submit a report on action taken on a public interest litigation petition that called on authorities to declare loris habitats slender (thevangu in Tamil) in the state a sanctuary or reserve to protect the species.

A bench of division judges Pushpa Sathyanarayana and P. Velmurugan requested a response to the petition filed by K. Pushpavanam of Madurai. The petitioner stated that the habitats of slender loris are found in the Kadavur hills in Karur district and in Ayyalur forest in Dindigul district. These places should be identified as a sanctuary, he said.

In a counter-affidavit, the state argued that in order to declare a sanctuary for the conservation of slender lorises, preliminary data on the presence and population in Kadavur and Ayyalur was essential. In 2018, a census was carried out in the Ayyalur forest. The state of the population could not be studied and only the abundance of the species was noted. The work had to be taken over by a specialist.

State action is being initiated to carry out a census of slender lorises by specialists. Due to the nocturnal habitat and arboreal nature of the animal, the exact number could not be determined. A detailed proposal to declare Ayyalur Forest and Kadavur Range as a Slender Loris Wildlife Sanctuary will be submitted after obtaining the details of all survey sites with the help of forestry staff, volunteers and members of non-governmental organizations, the state submitted. The court adjourned the case for four weeks.

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