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  • Context (IE): In Wayanad, a radio-collared wild elephant chased a 47-year-old man and trampled him to death, inside a gated property in a residential area.
  • Human-wildlife conflict is when encounters between humans and wildlife lead to negative results, such as loss of property, livelihoods, and even life.
  • It is a serious global threat to sustainable development, food security, conservation, and health that is negatively affecting both people and wildlife and hindering the achievement of many SDGs and the Aichi Biodiversity Targets.
  • Human-wildlife conflict is recognised as a global concern in the UN Convention on Biological Diversity’s post-2020 global biodiversity framework.

Status of Human-Wildlife Conflict

  • Government data for 2022-23 recorded 8,873 wild animal attacks, of which, 4193 were by wild elephants, 1524 by wild boars, 193 by tigers, 244 by leopards, and 32 by bison.
  • From 2017 to 2023, there were 20,957 incidents of crop loss due to wild animal raids which also killed 1,559 domestic animals, mainly cattle.

Causes

  • Increasing encroachment on wildlife habitats.
  • Decline in the quality of forest habitats, largely due to the cultivation of alien plants — mainly acacia, mangium and eucalyptus — in forest tracts for commercial purposes.
  • Changing agri-practices were also responsible for drawing animals, which do not find enough fodder in their habitats, out of forests.
  • Waste disposal near forested areas.
  • Fragmentation of animal habitats due to wanton construction.
  • Increased human presence in and around animal habitats.

Consequences

Consequences of Human Wildlife Conflict

Way Forward

  • Relocating man-eating animals to new wildlife zones where the population is less.
  • Re-developing corridors connecting habitat and sensitising people on how to deal with animals.
  • Forming primary response teams of locals in all panchayats sharing forest boundaries.
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