Sunday, March 27, 2011

Mobile van to check man-animal conflict

Mobile van to check man-animal conflict
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik

With an increasing number of man-animal conflicts being reported from the periphery of Gir sanctuary, efforts are being made to bridge the gap between villagers and the state's forest and environment department. A mobile van has been introduced to roam in the villages along the boundary and help in rescuing and conservation of the big cats.

Conservator of forest R L Meena said that this mobile van has been launched to understand the problems of the locals and issues related to the local beat guard and forest department. Apart from the bridging exercise, the mobile van will also have trackers, who will be helpful in case of emergency and rescue.

Deputy conservator of forest Gir sanctuary (headquarters) Sandeep Kumar said the mobile van will have two foresters, one guard and two trackers, along with a driver. The team, apart from talking to sarpanch and local residents, will also keep an eye on the movement of the lions and leopards in the particular areas. Kumar said the team will be staying in the open fields. Importantly, the team will survey the number and location of the lions in the periphery. "If the team finds that the pride in the area is new and has migrated from the nearby area, they will look for the reason of the shift. The team will also tell villagers about do's and don'ts if they spot a lion sitting in their fields," said Kumar.

"We also want to create a local network so that if anything major happens, this team should be the first to get the information," Kumar said, adding that if the team got complaint of some serious conflicts between the big cats and the people, they would call a rescue team and shift the lion to the sanctuary.

The team would also maintain a register of their visit the village and will also be accompanied by the local staff from the area. It would also take down the details of the killing of domestic animal and learn if the compensation was paid in all such cases.

The moblie van being handed over to forest department officials

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