Tamil Nadu government constitutes expert committee to study human-elephant conflict in the Nilgiris
The Tamil Nadu government has constituted an expert committee to investigate the human-elephant conflict (HEC) in the Gudalur area of the Nilgiris and develop a comprehensive solution, officials said on Friday. The decision comes after several people were killed in an elephant attack at O’Valley in Gudalur between May and June.
The committee has started talking to local people and tea garden owners to study the human-animal conflict. The team is aware of the local people’s demands for the construction of physical barriers to prevent elephants from entering human settlements.
The committee has decided to examine the issue of stray elephants in the surrounding area and in the residential areas before taking a decision on the installation of the barrier.
According to official figures, there have been 50 deaths and 82 injuries as a result of human-animal conflict in Pollachi division of Coimbatore district in the last ten years. Most of the victims were laborers of tea and coffee plantations in 200 sqm of area. Meanwhile, 75 elephants died during 2012-2013 and 2021-2022.
A month ago, a 53-year-old man was killed by an elephant attack in the O’Valley Forest Range. Since May, there have been three such deaths in human-elephant conflicts in the region. Following the latest incident, locals protested in Gudalur town, calling on the forest department to do more to address the increasing frequency of such attacks.
District Forest Officer Kommu Onkaram, Government Arts College, Udhagamandalam, B. Ramakrishnan, Assistant Professor, Wildlife Biology, Dr. K. Ramesh, Senior Scientist, Wildlife Institute of India are among the members of the committee, which is headed by Conservator of Forests and Madumalai Tiger Reserve Field Director D. Huh. Venkatesh.
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, Tamil Nadu government constitutes expert committee to study human-elephant conflict in the Nilgiris
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