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Cauvery Basin: Decline in Green Cover

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • Researchers at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, conducted a study on the natural vegetation cover in the Cauvery basin.
  • The study reveals a significant loss of green cover in the Cauvery basin over the past five decades.

Key Findings of the Study

  • Over 12,850 sq.km of natural vegetation in the Cauvery basin lost between 1965 and 2016.
  • Karnataka: Accounted for one-third of the lost natural vegetation.
  • Tamil Nadu: Contributed to one-fifth of the lost cover.
  • 46% decrease in natural vegetation observed.
  • Dense vegetation cover reduced by 35%.
  • Degraded vegetation experienced a significant decline of 63%.
  • Protected areas such as Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Bandipur National Park, Nagarhole National Park, and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary were notably affected.
  • Bannerghatta National Park witnessed a decrease in its moist deciduous forest area from 50% in 1973 to 28.5% in 2015 due to human activities impacting the park and its surroundings.


Location of Cauvery River

  • Origin: Talakaveri on the Brahmagiri range near Cherangala village of Kodagu district, Karnataka.
  • Drains into Bay of Bengal at Poompuhar, Tamil Nadu.
  • States Covered: Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Kerala, and the Union Territory of Puducherry.
  • Important Tributaries: Left Bank: Harangi, Hemavati, Shimsha, and Arkavati; and Right Bank: Lakshmantirtha, Kabbani, Suvarnavati, Bhavani, Noyil, and Amaravati.
  • Major Projects: Krishnaraja Sagar dam, Nugu, Mettur, and Grand Anicut projects.
  • Protected Areas along Cauvery Basin: Brahmagiri Wildlife Sanctuary; Bandipur National Park; Nagarhole National Park; Bannerghatta National Park; and Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary.

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