Mini hydel projects, wind mills, vanishing elephant corridors and cultivating fallow lands between forests are important factors for the growing man-animal conflict in Karnataka, said Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife) Dipak Sarmah.
He was speaking on ‘Man verses Animal Conflict in Karnataka’ organised by Indian Institute of Public Administration, Karnataka Regional Branch on Saturday.
Sarmah said that the Forest Department has identified five animals which are causing man-animal conflict. While elephants top the list leopard, sloth bear, bison and black bucks also seem to be causing the conflict.
Recently development works are being done near forests resulting in the wild animals to stray into human habitation. Mini hydel projects in dense forests of Hassan district is also posing a threat to the elephant population.
Likewise, increase in wind mills in Chitradurga district is also disturbing wildlife because of the humming sound from the mills.
Sarmah said a large portion of forest land was submerged when the Harangi Dam was built in Hassan district.
“Nearly 25-30 elephants living in those forets were left in lurch. The department is planning translocation of those pachyderms after getting permission from the Karnataka High Court,” he said.
In the name of eco-tourism, Sarmah said that homestays have come up in Kodagu and Chikmagalur districts.
“This has increased movement of vehicles and people in remote places. Villagers damage elephant proof trenches and solar fence put up mainly to check the elephants from coming out of forests. People destroy those to allow the cattle inside forests,” he said.