Nagpur: The recent incident of wild elephants being electrocuted in Chandrapur has once again brought attention to the issue of human-animal conflict in the area. The presence of tigers near human settlements further adds to the concern. Unfortunately, such face-to-face encounters resulting in death are not uncommon in Chandrapur, and experts are calling for a realignment of policies to address the ground realities.
Bandu Dhotre, a wildlife and environment engineer in the district, highlighted the growing wildlife population as a major problem. He explained that as the population increases, the available space for these animals to live, travel, and hunt decreases. This shrinkage of their natural habitat has led to a close proximity between humans and wildlife, leading to conflicts.
Shafath Ali Khan, the chief shooter summoned by the Maharashtra government in the Avani tiger case, pointed out the mismatch between government policies and the need for sustainable wildlife conservation. He emphasized that the farmers in Chandrapur were not deliberately trying to harm the elephants; they were simply protecting their crops. Khan attributed the problem to certain wildlife NGOs influencing the forest department’s policies without considering the interests of all stakeholders. This lack of a holistic approach has resulted in villagers being perceived as enemies of wildlife.
Khan suggested that looking at how Africa manages its vast elephant population could provide valuable insights. In Africa, passages have been closed off to ensure that animals can move freely without coming into contact with human habitation. He proposed that implementing similar measures could be the solution to the problem in Chandrapur.
Protecting the forest and its fauna is Khan’s top priority. He shared an incident where a village in Chandrapur reported living in fear of a large cat. Urgent action is required to prevent such situations and save the tiger population in the region. Khan emphasized the need for a change in approach and cited the overcrowding of Tadoba as an example. Many tigers are encroaching on human habitats, which poses a risk to both humans and wildlife.
In conclusion, addressing the issue of human-animal conflict in Chandrapur requires aligning policies with the current situation on the ground. The growing wildlife population and shrinking habitat necessitate a reevaluation of conservation strategies. By considering the interests of all stakeholders and implementing measures that allow wildlife to thrive without endangering human lives or livelihoods, sustainable coexistence can be achieved.
Q: What is the current situation in Chandrapur regarding human-animal conflict?
A: Chandrapur has been experiencing incidents of human-animal conflict, particularly with regards to wild elephants and tigers. Despite efforts to mitigate these conflicts, they remain a recurring problem.
Q: Why is the growing wildlife population a concern in Chandrapur?
A: The increasing wildlife population in Chandrapur has led to a reduction in available space for these animals to live, travel, and hunt. This has brought humans and wildlife into close proximity, resulting in conflicts.
Q: What is the main cause of human-animal conflict in Chandrapur?
A: The main cause of human-animal conflict in Chandrapur is the encroachment of human settlements and agricultural activities into the natural habitat of wildlife. This has led to conflicts over resources and safety.
Q: What solutions have been proposed to address human-animal conflict in Chandrapur?
A: One proposed solution is to study the management of wildlife populations in other regions, such as Africa, where the implementation of measures like closing off passages has helped mitigate conflicts. Additionally, a holistic approach that considers the interests of all stakeholders is crucial for effective conservation.
Q: What is the priority for conservationists in Chandrapur?
A: The top priority for conservationists in Chandrapur is to protect the forest and its fauna. Urgent action is needed to prevent wildlife from encroaching on human habitats and vice versa, thereby ensuring the safety and wellbeing of both humans and wildlife.