State

Human-Elephant conflict in Wka rising

DIMAPUR, JUL 12 (NPN) | Publish Date: 7/12/2018 11:55:28 PM IST
Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) in Wokha district is reportedly on the rise and increasing year by year.
According to an official bulletin, a report from district forest officer (DFO) Wokha, Zuthunglo Patton, stated that due to increasing reports of incidences of Human-Elephant Conflict, a joint assessment was carried out in April 2018 by the district level committee for assessment of the loss of human life/domestic animals/crops/properties by wild animals for compensation in the district. 
The assessment showed that in 2018  alone, around 165 families belonging to eight villages of New Changsu, Ekhoyan, Old and New Riphyim, Wokha village, New Wokha, Seleku and Koio were badly affected by the presence of elephants in these areas/fields. 
The crops or property damaged were paddy, banana, pineapple, orange, sugarcane, vegetables, yongchak, betel nut, rubber, papaya, jackfruit, granary, farm huts, piggery, poultry, etc. amounting to more than Rs. 17 lakh which could only be partially reimbursed by the wildlife wing of the Nagaland Forest department this year.
The most recent reports of Human-Elephant Conflict in the month of June and July 2018 were from the villages of Old Riphyim, New Riphyim, Old Changsu and Mungya affecting 97 farmers and the GMS building at Mungya which have been verified by the department. 
The crops/property damaged included paddy fields, vegetables, banana, farm huts, rubber, etc.
With an ever-increasing human population leading to increasing fragmentation of habitat for the elephants, incidences of human injury or deaths, crop raids, poaching/hunting of elephants will only increase, the report stated.
Wokha district having a total geographical of only 1628 sq. km and supporting a staggering150-180 nos. of elephants all over the district, it not only indicates a bleak future for the farmers and rubber cultivators but also for the survival of these heritage animals in Wokha unless these issues are seriously addressed.
As per the nationwide Synchronized Elephant Population Estimation 2017 report by the Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate change, Nagaland has an elephant population of 446 and elephant density/km² of 0.45 which is the second highest density/km² after Karnataka.

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