The high cost of man-animal conflict:
Theme: Man-Animal conflict
If a wild elephant tramples rice fields, the government will provide compensation for the loss. Though it sounds simple, there are several inconsistencies in compensation awarded for human-wildlife conflict —ranging from crop loss to human death — across the country, finds a study published in Biological Conservation, an international journal on conservation science.
What is Man-animal conflict:
Causes of Increasing Man-Animal Conflicts:
• Encroachment in the forest lands by local people has resulted in shrinkage of wildlife habitats especially on the fringes which has increased the pressure on the limited natural resources in the forest areas.
• Urbanisation and increasing population - The primary reason for the increasing interaction is urbanisation. Human settlements expanding into established wildlife territories lead to conflict over not only space, but also food.
• Habitat Fragmentation and shrinking - This give rise to shrinking of space, food etc. in the forest which is required for the wild animals which result in animals stray out of habitat in search of food, water or shelter. This habitat fragmentation may be result of many reasons, for example, Construction of roads especially big Highways and canals passing through dense jungles and the big mines.
• Land Use Transformation - Humans encroach on clear large areas of protected forest patches for development of agricultural and horticultural lands. Developmental activities such as hydroelectric projects also result in submergence of nearby forests and fragmentation of habitat.
• Monoculture of teak in the large scale forest plantations raised by the Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd (FDCM) has also adversely affected the wildlife habitat value of the forest areas.
• Infestation of wildlife habitat by the invasive exotic weeds like Lantana, Eupatorium and Parthenium have resulted in decreased availability of edible grasses for the wild herbivores. As a result, herbivores come out of forest area and cause depredation of agricultural crops on the fringes.
• Decreased prey base caused by poaching of herbivores has resulted in carnivores moving out of forest in search of prey and indulge in cattle lifting.
• Increased disturbance due to collection of fuel wood, fodder, NTFPs, water etc. from the forests has also increased the incidences of man-animal conflict.
• Road Kill - India's road network is expanding at a large scale due to the expanding economy and increase in vehicular traffic. Some of this road network is being expanded through protected areas. Apart from fragmentation, roads are becoming a serious threat to wildlife as several wild animals are killed on a daily basis by speeding vehicles.
• Livestock Grazing - Livestock grazing in forests leads to human-wildlife conflict as carnivores are attracted towards the easy prey and become direct enemies of livestock graziers.
• Presence of a large number of animals and birds outside the notified protected areas.
• Sometimes the wild animals and human come in sudden contact and out of fear of each other, they harm each other accidently.
Results of Human Wildlife Conflict:
Mitigation measures of Man- Animal Conflict:
The Government has initiated a number of steps in this regard including the following:
What recent Five year study says :