Hyderabad: Human induced pressures, grazing of cattle in forests, loss of habitat for wildlife along with degradation and fragmentation of forests have been identified as the reasons behind increasing human-wildlife conflicts in the state.
A committee set up to study the reasons for such conflicts and tasked to suggest remedial measures, at its first meeting here on Saturday, discussed how these reasons “greatly reduced wildlife habitat and availability of resources like food and water, leading to increase in incidents of human wildlife conflict.”
The ten-member committee, at a meeting chaired by forests minister A. Indrakaran Reddy, discussed urgent measures needed to address the issue and to control, and reduce human-animal conflicts. Among the measures discussed were restoration and enrichment of wildlife habitat, ensuring water availability all through the year, and regulating collection of minor forest produce.
The committee felt that the introduction of rotational grazing by opening certain areas of forests for grazing once in three years, preventing and controlling forest fires, strengthening protection and anti-poaching activities, will contribute to reducing human-wildlife conflicts.
The committee is expected to submit its recommendations to the government at the earliest, but not later than three months. Among other issues that were discussed were revision in compensation rates to victims of wild animal attack resulting in human deaths, injuries, cattle kills and crop loss.
The committee was set up on March 3 in the wake of attacks on people by a tiger from Maharashtra that periodically enters Telangana state. In November last, the tiger, identified as A2, had killed two people in Komaram Bheem-Asifabad district. The movements of this tiger, the committee was informed by forest department officials, was being monitored in Asifabad district forests, which is part of the corridor from the Kawal tiger reserve to the tiger-bearing areas of Maharashtra. Officials said 144 camera traps have been set up and more than 40 animal trackers deployed to monitor the tiger’s movements.
R, Shobha, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden, briefed the committee on the steps taken to control the wild boar menace and predation of crops by these animals, along with damages caused by monkeys, and black bucks....