The eco-system of the Simhachalam Hills is dwindling fast, revealed a survey jointly conducted by the students and faculty departments of environmental science and botany of the Andhra University. The report that has already been submitted to the Simhachalam Devasthanam has listed out the perceptible threats to the Simhagiri ecosytem rich with dry deciduous forests and a few evergreens in the ravines, which is a home to 230 species belonging to more than 70 families of angiosperms, 67 bird species and 14 kinds of reptiles.
The present status of the hill range is alarming, the document says. Several perennial springs have been reduced to seasonal. “There were some 14 springs in the Simhachalam hills of which 10 have been dried up. In all these years, the springs have become seasonal ones,” says K Kameswara Rao, an environmental science professor of Andhra University, who took part in the survey.
Another threat to the ecosystem is soil erosion, highlights the survey report.”Owing to massive soil erosion year after year, rocks have been exposed in many part of the hills. The problems have its roots in the fast dwindling forest covers. The vegetation has been reduced to scrubs and gardens, resulting in a loss of a large number of species,” Rao points out, adding that the land available for natural succession has been shrunk due to encroachments. He exxpressed concern that there is no viable plan in place to save the eco-system.