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| Last Updated:: 09/02/2016

Identify wildlife species in regular conflict with human: Government







To reduce incidents of human-animal conflicts, an environment ministry's draft wildlife conservation plan has suggested identification and documentation of wildlife species that regularly come into such conflict.

"Identify and document the wide range of wildlife species that regularly come into conflict with humans, and prioritize the species that cause maximum damage to humans and are most adversely impacted due to conflict," the ministry's draft National Wildlife Action Plan says.

It also suggested conduct of surveys at national and regional levels to identify wildlife species coming regularly into humans habitats.

In a recent case of wild animal moving out of its natural habitat, a leopard entered a school in Bengaluru on Sunday where it injured five people before being tranquilized and trapped.

Recognizing that wildlife-human conflicts are largely a human-induced phenomenon combined with the specific behavioral ecology of animals, the action plan has suggested the government ensures that the development projects in wildlife areas do not turn out to be drivers of conflict.

It also calls for constitution of a well-trained and equipped workforce in the state forest departments to address such situations.

"Draw up comprehensive, species and region specific, conflict mitigation plans that can cater to prevention of human-wildlife conflict (HWC) situations and reduce the adverse impacts on both humans and wildlife. These should focus primarily on scientific management of wildlife populations as well as land-use practices that aid and abet HWC," it says.

The draft policy, which will be adopted next year and remain in force till 2031, stresses on several measures for wildlife conservation including rehabilitation of threatened species, strengthening and improving the protected areas, control of poaching and illegal trade and mitigation of human-wildlife conflicts.

The current action plan was adopted in 2002 and is due to expire this year. The ministry had constituted a 12-member committee, chaired by a former secretary JC Kala, to draft the conservation plan for the period 2017-31.

The ministry has invited comments and suggestions on the draft action plan till February 17, before giving it a final shape.



The draft plan also recommends formation of special investigation units in protected areas and empowering them with weapons and training to control poaching and illegal trade in wildlife.


"Fill up frontline staff vacancies in state forest departments, particularly in Tiger Reserves and protected areas to ensure that a young and proactive protection force is present in critical habitats to protect wildlife," it says.



For rehabilitation of threatened species, the committee has suggested conduct of status survey of data-deficient species and publish reports on their populations, area of extent, causes of threat and habitat.


"Develop a cadre of trained wildlife biologists and botanists and build their capacity in conservation breeding. Develop capabilities of planned breeding and reintroduction of captive bred populations of identified endangered species in accordance with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources) guidelines," it said.



Source: TOI