The over populated wild boar is wreaking havoc on agricultural crops of the forest dwelling indigenous people at Pechiparai and those in the forest peripheries. It destroys tapioca, paddy, banana, pineapple, vegetables and small bush bearing fruits. Besides, the animal burrows the land and consumes earthworms also, affecting the farmers, who raised concerns over this.
On Sunday, they sought special forest protection force to deal with this recurring menace.
According to Davidson Sargunam, IUCN Member, Kanniyakumari has 32 per cent of its total area covered by forests with a rich mega-biodiversity having elephant, tiger, leopard, sloth bear, wild boar, more than 200 forest birds, cobra, king cobra and many other reptiles. It’s a biodiversity hotspot in the Western Ghats and a UNESCO Heritage Center.
Davidson also opined that animals such as fox, hyena and dhole which survive on these wild boars have been eradicated from the Kanniyakumari forests. The reduction in venomous reptiles like cobra, python, king cobra and vipers also enable an increase in the numbers of wild boar, which causes a major disruption in the food chain.
In some districts, including Madurai, Coimbatore, Tiruvannamalai, Vellore, Salem and Erode reducing the population of wild boar is recommended as the government gave its nod for culling the animal, but Kanniyakumari remains left out from the list, Davidson told DT Next.
Further, he said the dominant population of wild boar is creating severe imbalance in the forest ecosystem. Hence, the indigenous people and the agriculturists in the forest borders are urging to reduce the wild boar population to lead a sustainable livelihood based on forests to support sustainable agriculture, he added.
Shekhar Kumar Niraj, Special Secretary, Environment and Forests Department, when contacted, said no such incidence was brought to the attention of Forest Department authorities. If concerns were genuine, proper data needs to be collected and analysed by the District Forest Officer and based on recommendations of the Chief Wildlife Warden and only when the situation is beyond control, wild boar culling order could be issued. Such animal would be culled in the presence of designated officers as per guidelines and disposed of by burning it, Niraj added.