Man-Animal Conflict on the Rise in North Kashmir


Residents Allege Wildlife Department is in Deep Slumber

Suhail Khan

BARAMULLA, Apr 22: The residents in the northern region of Kashmir have reported an increase in the ongoing conflict between humans and animals, specifically leopards. Over the past few months, there have been numerous sightings of leopards in Kupwara, Baramulla, and Bandipora districts.

Speaking to Kashmir Despatch, Sajad Ahmad, a resident of Jalsheeri area in Baramulla, expressed his concerns about the rise in leopard attacks. He highlighted that not only have these attacks resulted in the loss of livestock, but they have also caused injuries to individuals. Sadly, the wildlife department has yet to visit the affected area, leaving the residents feeling neglected and unprotected.

“In last some eight months, around 70 sheep were killed by the wild cats. The department of wildlife is in deep slumber as they hardly bother to visit this areas despite huge damages caused to our livestock by these wild beasts. Not a single official from the department of wildlife has ever visited this area which is just a few Kilometers from the main town of Baramulla,” said Bilal Ahmad, from Jalsheeri.

Another resident, Syed Mumtaz, voiced his worries about the increasing presence of wildlife animals, particularly wild boars and leopards, in the upper belt of Baramulla. He lamented the lack of serious efforts by the wildlife department to address the issue and provide relief to the affected people. Mumtaz recounted a recent incident where five leopards were spotted near the town, exacerbating the suffering of the already affected residents. He emphasized the fear of potential harm to human life due to these encounters.

Researchers have attributed these changing behaviors of leopards to the encroachment on their natural habitat caused by deforestation, road construction, and the laying of transmission lines.

Saika a researcher told Kashmir Despatch that the increasing urbanization and development have pushed leopards to venture into villages, towns, and outskirts of cities, including Srinagar.

Speaking to Kashmir Despatch, Intisar Suhail, the wildlife warden of Baramulla district, stated that they have covered almost all the areas where they received reports of leopard attacks or livestock damage. However, there are still several areas close to forests where leopards attack and then retreat back into the forests.

He said to address this, the department has installed cages in two or three areas, and we are hopeful to gain control over the situation as soon as possible.

Suhail also expressed concern for the people living near the forests, emphasizing that they are vulnerable and lack protection. Most of the attacks have occurred during the night.

The officer mentioned that they haven’t ensured proper security measures for the livestock, which might be why leopards are easily able to attack them.

He said the department has conducted awareness programs in many areas to educate people about the importance of self-protection and safeguarding their livestock.

Suhail stated that they have received calls from various locations, and their teams are actively working to address the issue and protect the livestock.

Regarding human habitats, the department is prioritizing their safety. However, they are facing challenges, particularly in villages located within the forests. Nonetheless, efforts are being made to ensure the safety of everyone.

In response to the rising incidents of man-animal conflict, the Divisional Commissioner, Vijay Kumar Bidhuri, has called for a well-coordinated strategy to tackle attacks by wild animals, particularly leopards and bears, across the valley. He emphasized the need for a centralized helpline to receive timely information for a swift response. Bidhuri directed the Wildlife Department to strengthen the capacity of its staff, enhance logistics, and operate Control Rooms at the district level.

The Divisional Commissioner also urged police personnel to assist wildlife teams when needed, ensuring crowd management and the safety of civilians. He emphasized the importance of coordination between district administrations, police, wildlife department, community leaders, lumberdars, chowkidars, and shepherds in capturing wild animals and processing factual information.

To prevent leopards from venturing into habitations, Bidhuri advised people to keep areas clean and dispose of waste properly, preventing stray dogs from being attracted to residential areas. He also urged residents not to leave their children unattended during dawn and dusk and advised them to move in groups in confirmed wild animal sitting areas.

The Wildlife Department is using cages, bait, camera traps, and conducting drone surveys to trap wild animals like leopards. They have provided contact numbers for control rooms in various districts to report sightings and seek assistance. The rise in man-animal conflict in North Kashmir calls for immediate attention and a coordinated effort to protect the lives of both humans and wildlife.

Suhail Khan
Suhail Khan

Suhail Khan is a filmmaker, content writer, and freelance journalist.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here




More like this

Satellite Imagery Shows Significant Expansion In Glacial Lakes In Himalayas: ISRO

KD NEWS SERVICE New Delhi, Apr 22: The satellite imagery...

DGP Swain Directs Forces To Ensure Safe, Successful Conduct Of Lok Sabha Elections

KD NEWS SERVICE SRINAGAR, Apr 22: Director General of Police,...

Apni Party Holds Party Workers Convention in Pampore Town

Firdous Parray Pampore: The Jammu Kashmir Apni Party organized a...

TA Soldier’s Brother Killed In Firing By Militants In Rajouri

M S Nazki Jammu, April 22 : A man, brother...