Jobs for kin of those killed in conflict with wildlife in Bengal

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    Jobs for kin of those eliminated in dispute with wildlife in Bengal

    434 to be selected house guard volunteers in authorities dept.

    The West Bengal federal government has announced that 434 near relative of individuals eliminated in conflict with wildlife will get jobs with the State police.

    According to a federal government alert released on Friday, 584 individuals were eliminated in the State in human-wildlife dispute over the past 5 years.

    The 434 next of kin will be selected as home guard volunteers in the West Bengal police.

    The choice to offer tasks to 74.3% of families of those eliminated in conflict with wildlife comes just months ahead of the Assembly surveys in the State. More than the timing, the decision is likely to have an impact on wildlife preservation and raises issues over whether providing tasks to victims’ families, can cause better wildlife management and reducing the dispute.

    Jumbo issue

    The information on human deaths supplied by the State federal government appears to be in consonance with data tabled in Rajya Sabha earlier this year, where it was mentioned that three States account to practically half (48%) of human deaths when it comes to human-elephant dispute over the past five years from 2014-15 to 2018-19 West Bengal has the highest number of human casualties at 403, followed by Odisha with 397 and Assam with 332 deaths due to elephant attacks, according to the information tabled in the Upper Home in February, 2020.

    Human-elephant dispute is intense in certain districts of north and south Bengal because of the fragmented nature of forests and landscape leading to regular encounters.

    While Friday’s alert does not define which animals caused human deaths, forest authorities are certain that most of the times the deaths have arised from human-elephant conflict.

    According to the State federal government’s notice 434 people from 11 districts will be appointed of which 205 persons are from 5 north Bengal districts.

    Most candidates from the households of those eliminated are from Jalpaiguri (96), followed by Alipurduar (73) in north Bengal. Twenty-six people in Darjeeling will get tasks followed by eight in Kalimpong and 2 in Coochbehar. Districts like Jalpiaguri and Alipurduar where forests are intersected by tea gardens with habitations on its fringes are locations of encounters with elephants.

    Likewise, in south Bengal districts, Bankura where 62 prospects have been selected, Paschim Medinipur (47) and Jhargram (46) are other areas of human-elephant conflict.

    Researchers and scientists state the forests are extremely fragmented, not appropriate for elephant habitation and surrounded by agricultural fields which increases chances of dispute. Well understood elephant professional Raman Sukumar has been pointing out that forests of south Bengal can not sustain elephants and stressed that human-elephant dispute is the most important problem in the region.

    According to Professor Sukumar a dry spell contributed in the preliminary largescale dispersal of elephants from Jharkhand to southern West Bengal during 1986-87 The area now hosts 150 to 180 elephants, while north Bengal has another 450 elephants.

    Tiger in Sunderbans

    The alert likewise mentions that 66 individuals whose member of the family died in South 24 Parganas will be offered tasks. Senior forest authorities said the majority of these deaths are due to human-tiger encounters in the Sunderbans region, the mangrove forests house to Royal Bengal Tigers.

    ” There might be one or 2 deaths due to crocodile deaths but most deaths are due to tiger attacks,” a forest official said. For the most part these deaths occur when people go into limited tiger locations for fishing or honey collection.

    While the choice on tasks will come as succour to lots of bad families who have lost kin due attacks by wildlife, the question which wildlife preservation specialists are asking is how will the decision help conservation. “The choice to offer work to people is gentle one and will offer relief to the bad families. But the more important problem stays that the human-wildlife conflict needs to be mitigated and deaths should be avoided,” Ajanta Dey, joint secretary Nature Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS), an organization working for environment and wildlife preservation stated.

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    ( the heading, this story has actually not been released by Important India News personnel and is published from a syndicated feed.).

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