KD NEWS SERVICE
SRINAGAR, Sep 30: With the increase in the incidents of man-animal conflict in Kashmir, the Wild Life Protection Department, J&K along with Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) is set to launch research project to assess the reasons behind the growing human-animal conflict in Jammu Kashmir.
Officials said that the Wildlife Department has launched a new research project to discover the reasons for the heightened wild animal attacks in Kashmir, which has claimed dozens of lives, including five minor children in north Kashmir’s Uri since June this year.
Environmental experts link the crisis with climate change in the region, calling it an inevitable cause of the decreasing habitat for animals.
Titled `Man-animal conflict with respect to common leopard and Asiatic and black bear in semi-urban and urban areas’, the project is funded under Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management & Planning Authority (CAMPA).
Chief Wildlife Warden of J&K, Suresh Kumar Gupta said that the Department is conducting a massive research project that will try to analyze the reasons for the increased conflict between wild animals and humans.
“We are planning to install camera tracks at the suspected spots to track the movement pattern of the animals. The Department is planning to study the areas where the attacks have taken place,” he said.
He said that the project funded by the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) has decided to strengthen an ecosystem to create more food for animals for the protection of wildlife and it would initially start from Budgam and Srinagar.
Ifshan Dewan, Kashmir’s wildlife warden wetlands said, “The study is being conducted keeping in view the heightened attacks on human beings There have been attacks in the valley, from North to South which has created panic among locals. So we intend to start the research soon.
Data accessed here, reveal that 49 persons were mauled to death in the past six years across the Valley. Figures suggest that in 2017, eight persons were killed by wild animals, 11 were killed in 2019 five in 2020 and nine in 2021 and around dozen in the year 2022 so far (till 30th September). As far as injuries, 2017 saw the highest number of injuries at 120 followed by 83 in 2018, 85 in 2019, 87 in 2020, 57 in 2021 and 22 in 2022.
Since April of last year, there were about 300 instances of wild animals that have gotten into residential areas being caught in cages and nets. The man-animal conflict in Kashmir has resulted in about 200 casualties and more than 2,000 injuries since 2011, according to official statistics—(KNO)