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Human-Animal Conflict

  • 28 Jul 2022
  • 6 min read

For Prelims: Human-Animal conflict, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972

For Mians: Human-Animal Conflict and its Implications

Why in News?

Recently, the Minister of State for Forest, Environment and Climate Change, informed in the Lok Sabha that there is a rise in the number of Human-Animal conflicts.

What is Human-Animal Conflict?

  • About:
    • It refers to struggles that arise when the presence or behavior of wildlife poses actual or perceived direct, recurring threats to human interests or needs, often leading to disagreements between groups of people and negative impacts on people and/or wildlife.
  • Causes:
    • Habitat loss
    • Growth of the population of wild animals
    • Changing cropping patterns that attract wild animals to farmlands
    • Movement of wild animals from forests area to human-dominated landscapes for food and fodder
    • Movement of human beings to forests for illegal collection of forest produce
    • Habitat degradation due to the growth of invasive alien species, etc.
  • Impacts:
    • Loss of life
    • Injury to both animal and human
    • Damage of crops and agriculture land
    • Rise in violence against animals
  • Related Data:
    • There were 222 elephants were killed by electrocution across the country between 2018-19 and 2020-21.
    • Further, 29 tigers were killed by poaching between 2019 and 2021, while 197 tiger deaths are under scrutiny.
    • Among human casualties of conflict with animals, elephants killed 1,579 humans in three years — 585 in 2019-20, 461 in 2020-21, and 533 in 2021-22.
      • Odisha topped the number of deaths with 332, followed by Jharkhand with 291, and West Bengal with 240.
    • Whereas, Tigers killed 125 humans in reserves between 2019 and 2021.
      • Maharashtra accounted for nearly half these deaths, at 61.

What are the Initiatives Taken to Tackle the Conflict?

  • Advisory for Management of Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC): This has been issued by the Standing Committee of the National Board of Wildlife (SC-NBWL).
    • Empower Gram Panchayats: The advisory envisages empowering gram panchayats in dealing with problematic wild animals as per the WildLife (Protection) Act, 1972.
    • Provide Insurance: Utilising add-on coverage under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna for crop compensation against crop damage due to HWC.
    • Augmenting Fodder: Envisages augmenting fodder and water sources within the forest areas.
    • Take Proactive Measures: Prescribes inter-departmental committees at the local/state level, adoption of early warning systems, creation of barriers, dedicated circle-wise Control Rooms with toll-free hotline numbers, Identification of hotspots, etc.
    • Provide Instant Relief: Payment of a portion of ex-gratia as interim relief within 24 hours of the incident to the victim/family.

Way Forward

  • The most widespread methods for lessening human-wildlife conflict come in the form of mitigation, or finding ways to keep wildlife out of areas with high human population or agricultural density.
  • There is a need for education and awareness among the masses so that they are sensitized about the human-animal conflict, Then, mitigation will evolve away from short-term symptom fixes towards long-term sustainable solutions to prevent conflict.
  • Ensuring that humans and animals have adequate space to thrive is the basis of human-wildlife conflict resolution.
  • Protecting wild lands and natural habitats is key, but so is creating buffer zones between wild and urban areas.

UPSC Civil Services Examination Previous Year Question (PYQ)

Prelims

Q. Consider the following statements in respect of Trade Related Analysis of Fauna and Flora in Commerce (TRAFFIC): (2017)

  1. TRAFFIC is a bureau under United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
  2. The mission of TRAFFIC is to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature.

Which of the above statements is/are correct?

(a) 1 only
(b) 2 only
(c) Both 1 and 2
(d) Neither 1 nor 2

Ans: (b)

Exp:

  • Trade Related Analysis of Fauna and Flora in Commerce (TRAFFIC), the wildlife trade monitoring network, is a joint program of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and IUCN – the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It was founded in 1976. It is not a bureau under UNEP. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • TRAFFIC works to ensure that trade in wild plants and animals is not a threat to the conservation of nature. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • TRAFFIC focuses on leveraging resources, expertise and awareness of the latest globally urgent species trade issues such as tiger parts, elephant ivory and rhino horn. Large scale commercial trade in commodities like timber and fisheries products is also addressed and linked to work on developing rapid results and policy improvements. Therefore, option (b) is the correct answer.

Source: IE

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