“49 people mutilated to death in the last 6 years in the valley”
Srinagar, September 30: With the increase in human-wildlife conflict incidents in Kashmir, the Department of Wildlife Protection, J&K, along with the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) are about to launch a research project to assess the reasons behind the growing human-wildlife conflict in Jammu and Kashmir.
Officials told the Kashmir News Observer (KNO) news agency that the Department of Wildlife has launched a new research project to find out the reasons for the escalation of wildlife attacks in Kashmir, which has made dozens of deaths, including five underage children in North Kashmir Uri since June this year.
Environmental experts link the crisis to climate change in the region, calling it the inevitable cause of shrinking habitat for animals.
Entitled “Human-wildlife conflict regarding the common leopard and Asiatic and black bear in semi-urban and urban areas”, the project is funded by the Compensatory Reforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).
J&K’s Chief Wildlife Warden, Suresh Kumar Gupta, said the department is carrying out a massive research project that will try to analyze the reasons behind the increase in conflict between wild animals and humans.
“We plan to install camera tracks at suspicious locations to follow the movement pattern of the animals. The Department plans to investigate the areas where the attacks took place,” he said.
He said the project funded by the Compensatory Reforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) decided to strengthen an ecosystem to create more food for animals for the protection of wildlife and would initially start from Budgam and Srinagar.
Ifshan Dewan, Wetlands of Kashmir Wildlife Custodian, said: “The study is being conducted keeping in mind the increased attacks on human beings. There were attacks in the valley, from north to south, which caused panic among the inhabitants. We therefore intend to start the search soon.
Official data revealed that 49 people have been maimed to death in the past six years in the valley.
Figures suggest that in 2017 eight people were killed by wild animals, 11 were killed in 2019, five in 2020 and nine in 2021 and around a dozen in 2022 so far (up to September 30). In terms of injuries, 2017 had the highest number of injuries with 120, followed by 83 in 2018, 85 in 2019, 87 in 2020, 57 in 2021 and 22 in 2022.
Since April last year, there have been around 300 cases of wild animals entering residential areas and being captured in cages and nets. The human-wildlife conflict in Kashmir has claimed around 200 lives and injured more than 2,000 since 2011, according to official statistics. TO KNOW