'Population to be Blamed for Human-elephant Conflict'
Increase in the human population and the rise of economies has resulted in a rise in elephant-human conflict over the decade, said Meenakshi Nagendran, programme officer of the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, here on Monday.
She was addressing the International Workshop on ‘Land use optimisation for coordinating regional development with the conservation of endangered species’, organised by Pondicherry University.
Changing landscapes and legal and illegal agriculture are some factors that lead to human-elephant conflict, which often results in the loss of property and human as well as elephant lives, she said. The main focus at the workshop was on the Asian elephant, which needs a large area, adequate food and water and therefore protected areas have to be designed in such a way as to support its requirements.
Dr Ruth DeFries of Columbia University, US, emphasised the importance of a larger landscape around protected areas for conservation, like the watersheds in human dominated areas.
The two-day conference was organised by the Department of Ecology and Environment Science with the US Fish and Wildlife Services, Indo US Science and Technology Forum, French Institue of Pondicherry and the TN Forest Department.