JK Bank
Wild animals making way to human habitations, a new worry in Kashmir
About Us | Contact Us | E-Paper
Title :    Text :    Source : 

Wild animals making way to human habitations, a new worry in Kashmir

Post by Syeda Rafiyah on Sunday, April 9, 2023

First slide
Over the past many years, wild animals inhabiting several areas across Kashmir are making their way to human habitations  resulting in  increasing incidences of human-animal conflict. Such incidents have resulted in a number of deaths including noticeable damage to crops also.
Speakingto Rising Kashmir experts said that over the years owing to the environmental degradation and decline in forest cover the wild animals are moving to human population.  
Last month, regional wildlife warden, Kashmir, Rashid Naqash revealed that the human-wildlife conflict has certainly escalated greatly in the past few years in Jammu and Kashmir.  He said from 2006 till the end of 2022, the man-animal conflict has claimed 242 lives and 2,940 people have been injured in such incidents.
Detailing reasons for the escalation in the conflict, a senior officer of the  wildlife department said the buffers between the human habitation and the forest areas have decreased.
The officer said the food availability and waste in urban or rural and near the forest areas is also inviting wild animals and that has led to an increase in the frequency of human wildlife conflict cases.
Aaliya Mir, Education Officer and Programme Head, Jammu & Kashmir, Wildlife SOS, said if people want to get rid of man-animal conflict, the first thing to do is plant trees, increase forest cover.
“Only when a forest is healthy and the prey base for wild animals is intact, can we expect conflict to reduce. Wild animals really don’t prefer to enter human settlements, but a lack of resources in their native habitat forces them to do so. If their home is healthy and secure, we will see less of them in our homes,” said Aaliya, who became the first woman from J&K to receive a wildlife conservation award this year.
Kashmir-based senior environmentalist, Ajaz Rasool said now wild animals are chased in the localities in Srinagar and Budgam belt owing to the disturbances in their natural habitat.
“The wild animals are now openly coming to the localities and human habitations. They have become domesticated. Their natural habitat has been disturbed by the inhuman activities of people,” he said. “Even it has been seen that the wild animals also attack dogs near forest areas as they are the easy prey for the wild animals,” Ajaz said.
The expert said over the years, the forest cover has declined which has compelled the wild animals to shift to the human habitations. He said now wild bears, tigers and monkeys are also seen in residential areas.
“In case there is any child or elderly the wild animals can also attack them. Bears and tigers are moving openly,” he said.
Shakeel Ahmad, a resident of Baramulla said he has witnessed a new trend in his area over the years saying that now wild animals damage apple orchards in summer when the trees bear fruits.
“This has affected many farmers as wild animals, especially black bears, damage apple fruit and branches of the tree. Once the tree is damaged it takes ten years to get back to its original position,” he said.
He also said that even now they do not allow children and elderly people to move out during morning and evening hours owing to the threat of wild animals.
On March 05, a porcupine was caught in Gurwait Kalan in the Khansahib area of Budgam district as the wild animal has been causing damage to the trees and orchards in the village.
The residents reported spotting over a dozen porcupines in the area, all of them causing damage to crops and vegetation. Porcupines are also spotted in other areas of Kashmir.    
The sightings of wild animals in several parts of Srinagar are also a new normal.  On February 25 this year, residents in Rawalpora witnessed movement of leopards in their locality.
Later wildlife officials said unattended sheds in Srinagar are primary reasons behind frequent spotting of wild animals in the city. Earlier also, such incidents have been reported in Bemina and other parts of the city.
Many villages in Baramulla and Ganderbal are facing a unique situation as monkeys make their way to residential areas causing trouble to the residents.
Residents of many areas from the twin districts said that monkeys are entering residential areas and damaging stored food which is raising concerns from the inhabitants.

Latest Post