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Effective Handling

May 1, 2024
wildbear pulwama kashmir UmerMehraj Jan22 1

Man-animal conflicts have always posed major challenges in Jammu and Kashmir and caused panic among residents. These conflicts often result in property damage, livestock depredation and even loss of human lives, underscoring the need for well-trained staff equipped to handle such situations effectively. Therefore, it is imperative to provide specialized training to frontline staff on ground that is tasked with dealing with the wild animals. In this regard, the Department of Wildlife Protection, J&K is currently organising  a technical workshop cum training programme on ‘Human Wildlife Conflict for the frontline staff of the Kashmir region consisting of Forest Territorial, Forest Protection Force and Wildlife Department.  The technical workshop cum training program is being held in three phases for frontline staff from the Kashmir Region, including Forest Territorial, Forest Protection Force, and Wildlife Department personnel. The workshop covers various aspects of human-wildlife conflicts, with a focus on practical strategies for conflict resolution and mitigation. Notable attendees include Divisional Forest Officers, Deputy Directors of Forest Protection Force, Wildlife Wardens, and experts from national organizations and wildlife conservation groups. The training program encompasses a range of topics essential for effective conflict management. Participants gain insights into the nature and scope of human-wildlife conflicts prevalent in the Kashmir Province, with specific reference to leopards and bears. Understanding the behavioral patterns of these animals, their habitat preferences, and the factors contributing to conflicts is crucial for devising appropriate mitigation strategies. The workshop also delves into various methodologies for conflict resolution, including trapping, tranquilizing, and, in exceptional cases, liquidation. Participants learn about the ethical and practical considerations involved in each approach, emphasizing the importance of humane and sustainable solutions. Trainees have the opportunity to undertake field exercises, including trekking in man-wildlife conflict-prone areas. Through direct observation and hands-on experience, they learn to identify wildlife signs such as pug marks, scats, and animal articles, enabling them to track and monitor wild animals effectively. At the same time, public engagement efforts and educational campaigns should be conducted to equip individuals with the necessary knowledge and abilities to alleviate the threat of human-wildlife conflicts. Furthermore, advancements in wildlife management methodologies through research and innovation can enhance the efficacy of strategies aimed at preventing and addressing such conflicts. Allocation of resources towards technological solutions, including wildlife tracking systems and early warning mechanisms, can furnish valuable information regarding animal behaviors and facilitate prompt interventions to forestall conflicts. In light of the increasing occurrences of human-wildlife conflicts, rigorous enforcement of guidelines is imperative to protect human lives. The ongoing technical workshop cum training program organized by the Department of Wildlife Protection is the need of the hour as it is aimed at addressing the complex issue of human-wildlife conflicts in Jammu and Kashmir. By equipping frontline staff with the knowledge and skills necessary for effective conflict management, the department aims to minimize conflicts and promote harmonious coexistence between humans and wildlife. Continued investment in staff training is essential for sustainable wildlife conservation and human welfare in the union territory.

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