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Human – Wildlife Conflicts UPSC NOTE

 What are the reasons for the increase in human-wildlife conflict?

  • Experts cite increased area under cultivation around wildlife habitats, changing cropping pattern, significant increase in the population of animals like elephants and tigers due to conservation efforts, and movement of livestock and humans in wildlife habitats during odd hours as the main reasons for the rise in human-wildlife conflict incidents

  • There has also been a substantial increase in the population of prolific breeders like wild boars and peacocks.

  • However, increased number of incidents involving elephants are due to habitat depletion and fragmentation caused by human activities.

  • Moreover, invasive alien species have reduced the availability of food and water

  • Monoculture of species such as eucalyptus and acacia has also adversely affected plant biodiversity.

What are the proposed solutions and why are they not effective?

  • Elephant-proof trenches and solar power fences are widely used in Kerala.

  • They are considered largely effective, provided they are properly maintained

  • However, there are several regions where these mechanisms have not been installed

  • These fences are also often broken by people living nearby to let their cattle into the forests for grazing, and elephants too destroy the fences using their legs and tusks

  • In a ₹620-crore masterplan to address the issue, the Forest department recommends hanging power fences that will be out of reach of elephants

  • Moreover, as part of the State government’s new eco-restoration policy, the Forest department is aiming to plant suitable indigenous plants (wild

  • mango, wild gooseberry, and wild jackfruit) in the forest to ensure wild animals’ food security and dissuade them from entering agricultural lands.

  • Such measures need to be supplemented by creating early warning systems that can track the movement of elephants and other dangerous animals using drones and watchers.

  • So that people can avoid going to locations where they have been spotted

  • However, the above measures are not effective against wild boars

  • Although the Centre is yet to accept Kerala’s request to declare wild boars as vermin, the State government recently empowered local

bodies to cull wild boars that pose a threat to agriculture crops or human life

  • The other options include capturing and neutering the boars, or relocating them to forests where there are predators like tigers and leopards.

How is human-animal conflict connected to the ESZ norm?

  • Although Eco Sensitive Zone norm has caused a storm in Kerala with the legislative assembly unanimously passing a resolution on July 7 urging the Centre to exempt the State from it.

  • Setting up an ESZ has been suggested by conservationists, retired Forest department officials and scientists as a way to reduce human-wildlife conflicts. 

  • In a State that is densely populated with severe land scarcity and a significant number of people living close to wildlife habitats, this would be difficult to implement.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Human – Wildlife Conflicts UPSC NOTE
Human – Wildlife Conflicts UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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