Gautala Autramghat Wildlife Sanctuary
Owing to its rich biodiversity that needed protection, the sanctuary was declared in the year 1986. With an area of approximately 26,000 ha, it lies on the eastern flanks of western ghats falling between the Satmala and Ajantha hill ranges.
The sanctuary is represented by the Southern Tropical Dry Deciduous Forest in the valleys and grasslands on the plateau. The administration of the sanctuary is governed by the district headquarter in Aurangabad and a range in Chalisgaon block of Jalgaon district. The sanctuary and nearby areas are a high biodiversity zone, high cultural zone with a century old history and heritage.
The area is marked by indigenous people who have been suffering from issues of poverty, health, and lack of education. These underlying issues force them to out migration in the cities to earn daily wages.
Recently, the area has seen an upsurge of domestic tourism. This has overburdened the critical wildlife area with nuances of noise pollution, solid waste and plastic pollution.
The tourism is expected to grow in the coming year that will exceed the area's carrying capacity. Over the years the region has also seen major issues of climate change, water shortage, biodiversity loss, land use change, and agriculture decline. The wild animals have started to venture out in search of water and food, and often come in direct conflict with the local farmers and tribes.
In such a contented landscape, there is an urgent need for strategic development, capacity development, alternate livelihood development of those who are at the frontline of the said challenges.
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