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Editorial

TN forest officials monitor wild elephants in Nilgiris as human-animal conflict increases

October 06, 2023 09:59 AM

Nilgiris : Tamil Nadu forest department officials have been monitoring the wild elephants in the Gudalur and the Pandalur areas of Nilgiri district as they increasingly enter the human habitats and cause destruction to properties and standing crops in the areas.


Residents of Cherangode, Cherambadi, Athichal, and other areas faced elephant menace as wild jumbos entered agricultural and residential areas.


In the monitoring, two of the elephants-Kataikkompan and Rocket- that caused menace recently in the nearby areas were found to be asleep, said officials.



The human-wild elephant conflict has been a persistent problem in the Gudalur forest division in the district. An expert committee formed by the State government in 2022 made a number of recommendations to minimise human-elephant interactions in the Gudalur forest division. The intensification of individual monitoring of elephants that are known to be drawn towards human settlements is one of the recommendations of the committee.


The expert committee had recommended that all elephants be radio-collared to track them easily and to give information about their movement to local communities. Another recommendation is spatial zonation of areas into elephant conservation areas, human-elephant co-existence areas and elephant exclusion areas.

 

The Asian elephant being a wide-ranging species needs expansive resources for its survival, and thus comes in close confrontation with people, often resulting in human-elephant conflict (HEC) in the form of crop and property damages, human injuries and deaths and retaliatory killings of the elephants.

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