DEHRADUN: Forest officials are to mull over solutions to the growing man-animal conflict, which claimed 60 lives in the country last year.
Experts, who will meet at Rishikesh in Uttarkhand this week, will try to identify reasons for the conflict and ways to prevent loss of lives while sensitizing people about wildlife, principal conservator, Uttarkhand, Jairaj said.
Uttarakhand has witnessed 340 deaths and 1,840 injuries since the state’s formation in November 2000. A dozen deaths have been reported this year.
The alarming situation was reflected in state forest minister HS Rawat’s reply in the Assembly in 2018. It revealed that between January 2017 and September 2018, over 11,000 domesticated animals and 79 humans had lost their lives in man-animal conflict in Uttarakhand.
Environmentalists and officials cite various reasons such as encroachment of forest by humans, besides changing the behaviour of the wild animals.
Anup Sah, Padmashri awardee and member of state wildlife board said, “Our policy makers should make laws which include people. Most laws have alienated people residing in and around forests for centuries. Shrinking habitats and changing behaviour of the wild have increased conflicts.”
A study by state forest department indicated that animals such as tigers, elephants and leopards are changing traditional ‘corridors’ to commute, especially between Dhikuli and Garjiya in Ramnagar — and through Chuna Khan area in Ramnagar. Both the corridors are outside the tiger reserve.