Under-staffed Wildlife deptt goes into hibernation

Man-animal conflict consumes 24 lives in 2 years

Kupwara: Wildlife department has failed to check increasing incidents of man-animal conflict in this north Kashmir district.
 In past two years, 24 people have been killed by leopards and bears and more than 250 suffered severe injuries in the man-animal conflict in this mountainous district draped by a thick cover of forests.
 Sources said the Wildlife department sans proper infrastructure and manpower to prevent the man-animal conflict in the district. 
 Most of the casualties have occurred since May 2010 in Lolab, Haiham, Rajwar, Ramhal, Handwara and Langate areas of this frontier district.
 Wildlife officials claim that population of Leopards and Himalyan black bear have increased in these areas after a ban on hunting was enforced in Kashmir in late eighties. They said the problem was compounded by encroachment of forest areas. 
 Acute shortage of man-power particularly in Kupwara district has put the department in hibernation mode. Against a requirement of 30 permanent employees including watchers and helpers, the department presently has only five employees to man vast forests in the district. 
 Ironically, the department does not even have a rescue-van for the entire district where almost on an average daily two to three incidents of man-animals conflict are reported.
 The department has just a single tranquilizer gun against the requirement of nearly a dozen for vast forest ranges of Kazinag, Mawar, Rajwar, Ramhal, Chowkibal, Karnah, Keran, Hayhama, Lolab, Kandi and Machil belts.
 “While rescuing the wild animals we have to wait for hours together for the tranquilizer gun which are used in other rescue operation. Most of the times this proves fatal for wild animals and humans as well,” said a wildlife official.
 Despite shortage of man-power, the department claims to make efforts to deal with the problem. “We always try to reach out to the affected areas,” said Ghulam Mohi-u-din, block officer Kupwara.

Lastupdate on : Fri, 16 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Fri, 16 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Sat, 17 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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