Translocation Not a Solution to Man-animal Conflict, Say Karnataka Experts
BENGALURU:Translocation of animals is not an effective solution to the man-animal conflict as it only transfers the conflict to some other region, wildlife scientist Vidya Athreya said on Friday.
At a workshop held for media persons, she said, “One of the best methods to tackle this conflict is to avoid capture and release of leopards from near human habitation.”
She explained that research conducted in Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Maharastra showed that leopards exist close to human habitation without accounting for a single human fatality. Translocation will not work due to reasons such as the homing instinct of felines. Moreover, when a leopard is translocated, other leopards in the region will occupy the territory of the former, she said. She said leopards were very territorial with a social structure based on female relatives.
Prithviraj Fernando, Chairman of Centre for Conservation and Research, Sri Lanka, said confrontational methods to mitigate man-animal conflict would only worsen the situation.
Taking note of drives to shift elephants from near human habitation to reserves, he said aggression in the animals increases after such drives. In Sri Lanka, the territory of elephant herds decreased after translocation leading to starvation and deaths, he said.
Manoj Kumar, Chief Conservator of Forests, Kodagu, said stopping cattle grazing inside reserves would help in controlling elephant population. In the absence of cattle, tigers prey on elephant calves, which keeps the pachyderm population in check, he said.
“Research on the number of elephants that the Nilgiri biosphere can sustain should be taken up,” he said.