Bandipur foresters’ innovation prevents man-jumbo conflict
Bandipur Tiger Reserve Director P Ramesh Kumar said they are erecting the rail barricade near EPTs towards the village side.
MYSURU: A simple idea of erecting barricades between the elephant proof trench (EPT) and agriculture lands in forest border areas appears to have prevented elephants from straying into human settlements.
It was the brainchild of foresters at the Bandipur Tiger Reserve as the department had witnessed regular straying of elephants into villages in border areas. As a prevention measure, foresters had dug EPTs, but the elephants continued to stray into the villages. Even after purchasing discarded rails from the Railway Department spending around Rs 1.3 crore to lay just 1 km of barricade, foresters had failed to prevent elephants from crossing the barricade.
Bandipur Tiger Reserve Director P Ramesh Kumar said they are erecting the rail barricade near EPTs towards the village side. Earlier, the rail barricades were erected towards the forest side near EPTs which allowed elephants to climb the barricades and later cross the trench easily. Under the new method, it is difficult for elephants to cross the barricade.
BTR Gundlupet Division ACF K Paramesh said it has been implemented on an 8-km border stretch between Hediyala and Moliyur forest ranges, while the work is going on at the Nugu forest range. The 2-km stretch at Maddur range has been completed.
“We have also allowed farmers to install metal fences or nets to the rail barricades to prevent wild boars, deer, and other smaller animals from entering the fields,” he added. Mahadevappa, a farmer from Gundlupet, said, “With the new initiative by foresters, elephant straying has stopped.”