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Man-animal conflict mitigation team selected for the Wildlife Trust of India award

  • Published
    1st Dec, 2022
Context

The Wildlife Trust of India has selected an eight-member team from Chinnakkanal (Munnar forest division) for its award this year for reducing incidents of man-animal conflict in the region.

Details:

  • The team had been selected for its work in ensuring the protection of the wild elephants and people in the region.

About Indian Elephant:

  • It is also known as “Elephas maximus”.
  • Statistics in India:
    • The population of elephants in India has reached about 27,312 (2017 Census).
    • Karnataka had the highest number of elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054).
  • Protection Status:
    • IUCN Red List: Endangered
    • CITES: Appendix I
    • Wildlife Protection Act 1972: Schedule I
  • World Elephant Day is celebrated every year on the 12th of August.
  • It provides information about the movements of wild elephants in Chinnakkanal and other regions through WhatsApp groups.
  • The messages help people to be aware of the presence of wild elephants in the Chinnakkanal area.
  • The team also provides the photos and location of the wild elephants in each region to the Divisional Forest officer (DFO) and other officials.
About

About Wildlife Trust of India (WTI)

  • Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) is an Indian NGO committed to nature conservation.
  • Motto: In Service of Nature
  • Its mission is to
  • conserve wildlife and its habitat and
  • work for the welfare of individual wild animals, in partnership with communities and governments.

Human-Animal Conflict:

  • It refers to struggles that arise when the presence or behavior of wildlife poses actual or perceived direct, recurring threats to human interests or needs, often leading to disagreements between groups of people and negative impacts on people and/or wildlife.

Causes:

  • Habitat loss
  • Growth of the population of wild animals
  • Changing cropping patterns that attract wild animals to farmlands
  • Movement of wild animals from forests area to human-dominated landscapes for food and fodder
  • Movement of human beings to forests for illegal collection of forest produce
  • Habitat degradation due to the growth of invasive alien species, etc.

Related Data:

  • As many as 1,578 people died in elephant attacks in India between 2019-20 and 2021-22.
  • Of which the highest 322 such deaths were reported from Odisha.
  • The other states included in the state-wise data shared by the minister were: Jharkhand (291 cases), West Bengal (240), Assam (229), Chhattisgarh (183), Tamil Nadu (132), Karnataka (69), Kerala (57), Meghalaya (12), Andhra Pradesh (10), Uttar Pradesh (7), Tripura (5), Arunachal Pradesh (1) and Maharashtra (1).

Government Measures:

  • Project Elephant: The scheme aimed at protecting and conserving elephants and their habitats in the country. It was launched in 1992.
    • Compensations were provided to local communities for the losses incurred by them during the human-animal conflict. Such compensations would reduce the retaliation of elephants.
  • Compensatory Afforestation Fund Act, 2016: It also assisted to develop wildlife habitats, establishing animal rescue centers, etc.
  • Elephant reserves: Elephant Reserve is a management entity notified by the State Governments as per the recommendation of the Government of India.
    • Agasthiyamalai (Tamil Nadu) will be the country’s 32nd elephant reserve.
  • Monitoring of Illegal Killing of Elephants (MIKE) Programme - Mandated by the Conference of Parties (COP) resolution of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
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