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EditorialMan-Animal Conflict needs urgent attention!

Man-Animal Conflict needs urgent attention!



Scores of incidents have been reported over the year from the remote and hilly pockets of Division and more recently from valley where man-animal conflict has come to fore leading to deaths and injuries to several persons in different cases with the latest case of a four-year-old girl, who was killed by a leopard after she was taken away from her house in Udhampur district.

Reportedly, the locals recovered her mauled body two kilometers away from her house in Upper Banjala village of Pancheri tehsil in the district. Akin to this attack in Udhampur, an elderly person sustained injuries when a black bear attacked him while he was working in his kitchen garden in Kupwara district on Saturday.

Going by the rising number of cases of man-animal conflict, the stakeholders especially the government should ponder on the issue and find the reasons behind such attacks by wild animals and panaceas to deal with the situation which lately has become quite dangerous.

Notably, since 2006 till the end of 2022, the man-animal conflict has claimed 242 lives and 2,940 people have been injured in such incidents in Kashmir Province. As the data regarding such attacks has revealed that the man-animal conflict has become a complex and pressing issue that is affecting the picturesque Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.

The basic problem has come into existence when human activities encroach upon natural habitats, bringing people and wildlife into close proximity. In J&K, this conflict primarily involves interactions with species like leopards, bears, and certain other animals.

The case of a leopard finding way in posh locality of Gandhi Nagar in recent times is a typical example man-animal conflict because the act of the wild animal was considered to villainous but in actual the role of human society was wrong as it has usurped the habitat of the wildlife leading to such episodes where more than one person received injuries while tackling with the animal in Green Belt Park.

Understanding the responsibility for managing and mitigating man-animal conflict is crucial to ensure the coexistence of both humans and wildlife. Human expansion and development projects lead to deforestation and habitat destruction, forcing wildlife to venture into human settlements in search of food and shelter. Changing patterns also drive animals to lower altitudes or different areas in search of sustenance, increasing the likelihood of encounters with humans. Illegal activities such as poaching and encroachment on protected areas further exacerbate the conflict.

There is dire need that the government should play a pivotal role in implementing policies and regulations that protect both human and animal interests. It is also vital that the residents of affected areas must be educated about coexistence strategies and encouraged to take proactive measures to reduce conflicts. There is a need to establish and safeguard wildlife corridors and protected areas to maintain natural habitats. Awareness can also play a significant role as conducting workshops and awareness campaigns to educate communities about wildlife behavior and safety measures can prove helpful in averting such attacks by the wild animals.

The man-animal conflict in Jammu and Kashmir is a multifaceted issue that demands a collaborative effort from various stakeholders. Responsibility lies with government authorities, conservation agencies, NGOs, and local communities to find sustainable solutions that allow humans and wildlife to coexist harmoniously.




The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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