The growth of fodder in the Nilgiris and the Cauvery catchment landscape spread over four districts also further boosts the prospects.
With the Foresters working on multiple strategies to reduce the wildlife conflict in the State, particularly those related to elephants and tigers, a senior Wildlife official said, “To reduce the anthropogenic disturbances in critical tiger habitats, 435 families have been relocated from the core area of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. Last year, the scheme was executed at a cost of Rs 49.59 crore. This year (2019-2020), the scheme is in progress at an outlay of Rs 29.87 crore.” The areas vulnerable for conflict are identified and the villagers will be shifted as per the scheme, the official added.
Besides, the compensation for human death and permanent incapacitation, which stands at Rs 4 lakh, and the compensation for injuries and crop damages are also paid by the department. During the year 2018-19, Rs 3.34 crore was paid as compensation for wildlife conflicts, and for the year 2019-2020, an amount of Rs 3.63 crore has been allocated till now, the official said.
“Wild animals stray into villages in search of food and water. If there is adequate water inside the core jungle, it reduces the conflicts.
Further, Tamil Nadu has now adopted an elephant alert system in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve to reduce the elephant–human conflicts,” said Ms K Brinda, conservationist, Biodiversity Conservation Foundation, Tiruchy.
According to Wildlife sources, the Cauvery wildlife sanctuary located downstream on the banks of the Cauvery has been receiving rainfall for the past two months, and with the river in spate for the last 45 days, enhanced the green cover and fodder for wildlife in the Hogenakkal, Dharmapuri, Erode and Sathyamangalam forests.
Similarly, the Moyar river that flows through the Mudumalai and Sathyamangalam tiger reserves is now in spate, enhancing the dense cover there. Rain forests stations in Tamil Nadu, including Avalanche, Bangitapal, Valparai and Top Station had also witnessed heavy rains, with the reservoirs in the Nilgiris also brimming.