Bihar to review measures to control human-animal conflict

The Bihar government is in a dilemma over how to avoid frequent human-wildlife conflicts around the Valmiki Tiger Reserve, home to 40 of the state’s 50 big cats.

The state’s tiger population jumped more than 50% between 2014 and 2018, from 32 to 50. The 2022 census has not yet been completed, but experts believe the numbers will rise significantly.

An official said the Forestry Department has taken adequate and effective measures to control human-wildlife conflict in and around the VTR, where a tiger was killed days ago after allegedly maiming nine people.

Arvind Kumar Chaudhary, principal secretary of the department, said the tiger had struck terror in the West Champaran district area and the loss of life was “extremely unfortunate”.

“At the same time, there is no point in glorifying the killing of a tiger,” he told PTI.

The tiger was killed in Bagaha on October 8 by a team of foresters brought from Hyderabad and Patna. The killing order was issued according to procedure when it was established that the animal was accustomed to living in human habitation.

“We are considering reviewing the measures that are already in place to avoid such conflicts in the future,” Chaudhary said.

The official explained that since the tigers stay within the boundaries of the protected areas, the possibility of conflicts between the big cats apparently increases.

In this situation, he said, weaker tigers try to move towards human areas, leading to increased human-animal conflict.

“We will also look into this aspect,” the official said, adding that a meeting would be convened soon to discuss and review some measures.

Chaudhary said there were reports that another tiger killed four goats on Friday night on the sidelines of the VTR, which covers a total area of ​​around 900 square kilometers.

Locals said the tiger came out of the Manguraha forest range of the VTR, which is located in the foothills of the Himalayas.

The incident is also being analyzed by experts, Chaudhary said.

The state government has taken several steps to protect big cat habitats and conserve its population based on guidelines from the National Tiger Conservation Authority, he said.

There are also tigers at Kaimur and Pant wildlife sanctuaries and Patna Zoo, where Chief Minister Nitish Kumar named the four cubs born to tigress Sarita on International Tiger Day on July 30.

The grasslands developed by the government at the VTR have led to an increase in the number of different wildlife species including tigers, according to the official.

Grasslands help the survival of herbivorous wild animals, which are the main prey of tigers and other carnivores that thrive in all natural or reserve forests, he said.

Hundreds of cameras are installed in the VCR to observe the movement of wild animals, Chaudhary added.

Alokparna Sengupta, chief executive of the Indian section of the Humane Society International, said tigers do not hunt humans unless they are desperate, weak or hungry.

“The state government needs to look at these aspects first and take further corrective measures and then to control the human-wildlife conflict,” Sengupta told PTI.

She noted that more tigers in India were being hunted towards human habitation because increasing mining activity was shrinking their habitat, leading to a spike in deadly conflict.

Efforts must be made to find a lasting solution to these conflicts, which cause tragic loss of life on both sides, Sengupta added.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)