'Operation Fox': Uttarakhand govt to increase fox population to curb wild boar menace

With the increase in the fox population, the increasing population of wild boar will start decreasing and farmers will get great relief.

Published: 27th August 2023 09:46 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th August 2023 09:46 AM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purposes only. (File Photo | EPS)

DEHRADUN: The Uttarakhand Forest Department has prepared a unique plan to increase the continuously declining fox population in the state. The reason behind this surprising move is the growing population of wild boar.

In fact, hunting wild boar cubs is one of the fox’s favourite food prey. With the increase in the fox population, the increasing population of wild boar will start decreasing and farmers will get great relief.

According to official sources, the Uttarakhand forest department plans to deal with wild boars in their ‘language’ and ‘traditional wild-hunting style’, which have caused massive damage to the farming community. Due to the increasing number of wild boars, farming also suffers in the same proportion.

Uttarakhand Forest Minister Subodh Uniyal told this newspaper, “The forest department is going to launch ‘Operation Fox’ to provide relief to farmers from wild boars.” 

Under this operation, work will be done to increase the number of extinct foxes, so that the number of wild pigs can be controlled. “The Red Fox found in the Himalayan region has been considered very important to control the number of wild boars, as it mainly preys on piglets, this will reduce the number of wild boars,” Forest Minister Subodh told this daily.

‘Operation Fox’ is a scheme in the state that will rid farmers of the problem of wild boars. “Though the permission to kill wild boars was earlier given to the state by the Union Ministry of Forest and Environment, it did not prove to be an effective solution. This time a foolproof measure has been taken to save the farmers' crops”, Minister Uniyal elaborated.

Chief wildlife warden Dr Sameer Sinha said, “The biggest problem for farmers in the hilly areas is monkeys and wild boars. Though a drive was launched by the Uttarakhand Forest Department to control the monkey population, which was also successful, but in the case of wild boars, we are exploring all the best options to end the threat posed by it.

“The state government worked on sterilisation for monkeys, as a result of which their number decreased by 39,000 in 2021 during the monkey census in 2015 and to 110,000 at present, from close to 149,000 in 2021. But neither the sterilisation of wild boars has been done nor any concrete solution to their population has been found,” Sinha said.

Mahesh Prasad Nautiyal, Head of Chhinakholi village in Uttarkashi, told this newspaper, “The agricultural land of more than two dozen cultivators in our gram sabha has been destroyed by wild boars and we did not get even Rs 1 compensation.”

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