Man Wildlife Conflicts

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The problem of Man – Elephant conflict is more severe in the districts of Hassan and Madikeri where large herds of elephants can be seen roaming and marauding the farms especially in or near the forest areas damaging the valuable agricultural crops. At times there have been loss of human lives which only accentuates the problem taking this conflict to an entirely new level. Naturally people can tolerate the loss of agricultural crops but not the loss of their family members. But then who is responsible for all this? It is we who have intruded into their territory, converting the forests into agricultural farms, growing crops and inviting the elephants to our doorsteps to come and have their stomach fill. Its we who have fragmented their habitat by making roads, dams and canals. We have honeycombed their habitat by our so called developmental activities eating into their homelands and this appetite of ours for their areas is only increasing day by day with the bulging human population. The elephants in these areas seem to have a very peculiar habit. First they have their stomach fill. After that they roam around in search of arrack which is usually being distilled in local bhatties. The arrack or the distil waste gives them a nice kick and these drunken elephants are responsible for the loss of human lives. The tools employed by the forest department like bursting of crackers, gunshots or fire torches are too primitive to stop or scare away the marauding pack of drunken elephants. The Man-Leopard conflict is more visible in the transition zone between dry plain lands and the green hilly areas. In the Chikmagalur district it is more a problem in the dry taluqa of Kadur particularly bordering villages of Kadur and Chikmagalur taluqa where the dry tract ends. Kadur is the place which earned a bad name for it about 10 years back. It was here where large number of panthers had to be shot and killed by employing and bringing so called sharp shooters from all over the...
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