Wildlife Week
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Wildlife Week

Post by RK News on Monday, October 3, 2022

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The Wildlife Week is celebrated every year all across India from 2nd till 8th of October. The main purpose of celebrating Wildlife Week is to create awareness among the people about the importance of conservation and protection of animal life.  While many government departments, particularly J&K wildlife Department, are busy in conducting seminars, celebrating wildlife week and  organizing programs in which phrases like ‘habitat management’, ‘biodiversity loss’, ‘environmental degradation’ and other such concepts are discussed, the fact of the matter remains that the wildlife in Kashmir is facing a horrendous times. Every now and then newspaper reports are a testimony to the fact that the problem of animals appearing in and attacking human habitations has escalated over the years. With food scarcity hitting the natural habitat of wild animals, many animals particularly bears and leopards have been responsible for transgressing into the human territory. The results of such transgressions have often been bloody. In places around Kashmir, there have been many incidents of violent attacks by bears and leopards. Besides, regularly losing their livestock from such attacks, many people have lost their loved ones.Many argue that such attacks are a direct fall out of large scale exploitation of forests by humans; acres and acres of tree stubs on mountains bearing a proof of this. In many of the cases, villagers have resorted to attack animals in retaliation and unfortunately killed a huge number of them. It is a shame that even in 21st century people see no other alternative than killing an animal for defence.  Government with its entire modernized outlook has so far failed to modernize the Wildlife Department so that it can effectively tackle wild life incursions in human areas. It is an established fact that most of these attacks have been reported in areas which lie in the vicinity of forests but till now no effective awareness drive has been conducted by the said departments in this regard. Kashmir has a rich wealth of wildlife which is not immune to human activities and development initiatives. Brisk and huge presence of humans in forests, poses a threat to the habitats of animals. Forest department must take a lead in alleviating the fear and losses due to human-animal encounters. Besides, informing people about the safety measures, the forest protection force must be trained effectively to tackle encounters between humans and animals. In certain places, the department must establish a boundary wall, thereby segregating the two habitats. Equipping the personnel and people in high attack incidence areas with equipment to sedate animals is the need of the hour. Paying ex-gratia to the victims becomes imperative upon the government agencies concerned. Kashmir has a potential to set an example by employing the best practices and techniques to protect its wealth – humans, forest and animals. Government must prioritize safeguarding both human and animal lives.


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