Radio-collaring proves effective in checking wild elephant raids (State of
Coovercolly Indresh, The Hans India
July 19, 2021
MADIKERI: Wild elephant menace is common nowadays in most of rural areas
situated in close proximity to the forests. They leave a trail of
destruction in a night's raid in agricultural fields. Despite trenches dug
by the forest department to prevent hordes of elephants from straying into
human habitats, it has little effect.
Under pressure from villagers, the department has translocated wild
elephants on many occasions. But shifting is not found to be a permanent
solution to the menace. As the forest cover is shrinking so is the fodder
for elephants although their population continues to be on the rise.
In this backdrop, the forest department has come up with a novel project to
radio collar wild elephants to monitor their movements. This method has
been successful in Kodagu and Hassan district in reducing menace. The
department has taken up the project in association with Dehradun Wildlife
Institute of India (WII) and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale
Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) of Germany.
In 2018, GIZ started a project with MoEF and three partner States –
Uttarakhand, Karnataka and West Bengal, under which it identified animals
as 'conflict' species and decided to come up with guidelines to control
these negative interactions between human and different animals.
Speaking to The Hans India, WII expert Dr Sanath Muliya said that so far 13
elephants were radio-collared in Kodagu and Hassan districts. Raido-collars
work for three years and provides location of elephants 24x7. So the
department and villagers can chase away rogue elephants and even villagers
could get pre intimation. He said more number of rogue elephants will be
radio-collared in other parts of State.
Annira Harish Madappa, a farmer in Srimangala on border of Nagarhole
wildlife sanctuary said that radio forest department provides intimation
about the location of rogue elephants through WhatsApp group. The
department officials reach potential trouble spots even late in the night
to chase away elephants into the forest by bursting crackers. This is
proving very helpful in saving crops, he said.