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Current Affairs 2023

Mitigating Human-Animal Conflict : The Way Forward - UPSC Current Affairs

Human-animal conflict is a rapidly growing problem in the Wayanad district of Kerala, India, with wild elephant attacks bringing the issue to the forefront. The cause of this conflict is attributed to factors such as habitat loss, population growth and changes in cropping patterns. The only solution is mitigation of conflict through a collaboration between government, society, and conservation experts. This article explores the issues surrounding human-animal conflict in Wayanad and suggests ways to create a sustainable balance between human needs and the protection of local wildlife and their habitats.

Jan 10, 2023

2 min read

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Human-animal conflict is a rapidly growing problem in many parts of the world, and Kerala is no exception. In the state's Wayanad district, a series of wild elephant attacks have brought the issue to the forefront, with recent incidents involving rouge elephant PM2 attacking a daily worker, charging at a bus, and destroying crops grown by local farmers.

 

The cause of the spike in human-animal conflict in Wayanad can be attributed to several factors, including an increase in human population in the area, habitat loss and fragmentation suffered by wild animals, and changes in cropping patterns adopted by farmers. These changes have led to the intrusion of people into wildlife habitats, exacerbating the trouble. Furthermore, these cultivators, who often see the prime job of the forest department as protecting their interests, are less tolerant of crop raids by wild animals.

 

An analysis of the threats to biodiversity conservation and management of natural resources in various forest divisions of Kerala shows that human-wildlife conflict is a threat existing almost everywhere, but more frequently in the northern region and particularly in Wayanad. The issue has always been there, but its frequency has gone up lately.

 

The only solution to this problem is mitigation of conflict. For this, both government and society should work together as a single entity and alter perspectives towards wildlife and human existence in the forest and on its fringes. Parallelly, forest conservation must be made more effective, through participatory programmes involving the people. These programs should work to create a more sustainable balance between human needs and the protection of the local wildlife and their habitats.

 

In conclusion, human-animal conflict is a serious problem in Wayanad and other parts of Kerala that requires immediate attention. By working together, the government, local communities, and conservation experts can help to mitigate this conflict and create a more harmonious co-existence between humans and animals in the region.

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