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124 cases of man-elephant conflict in South West Garo Hills alone

Consultation on Garo Hills Elephant Reserve Action Plan begins

SHILLONG: There were as many as 124 cases of man-animal conflict recorded in South West Garo Hills alone in 2015.
This was informed by the Deputy Commissioner South West Garo Hills, Ram Singh during a three-day workshop on Garo Hills Elephant Reserve Action Plan which began at Tura on Tuesday.
The workshop was organized by the Forest and Environment department.
In the context of the large number of cases, the Deputy Commissioner urged the concerned department to sensitize the general public about the issues and problems of man-animal conflict which would help them to create peaceful and favorable atmosphere for co-existence.
T T C Marak, Member Academic Council, Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun and Retired Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (PCCF) expressed concern over the increasing man-animal conflict in the region.
Marak stressed on the need to sensitize the stakeholders for regulating and minimizing the use of forest land for human habitation and agricultural production especially in areas considered as elephant corridor zones.
Un-regulated human habitation and expanding agriculture and plantation crops in forest area thereby disturbing the ecology of the region are few reasons of this man animal conflict, he added.
Recalling the past experiences, he said that sightings of elephants was a daily affair and the Garo tribes have due respect for the elephant for they call them ‘Dalgipa’ meaning huge in English but there has been reports of increasing man-animal conflict in the region and hence there is a need to sensitize the people for their conservation.
Further, Marak called upon the stakeholders to cooperate and preserve the beautiful landscape and environment of the area thereby paving way for creating a conducive atmosphere for the preservation of the elephants in Garo hills region.
Others who spoke were C. Budnah, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Head of Forest Force, Dr.  Ron Chandler, President and Co-founder of Conservation Initiative for the Asian Elephants, United States of America, P R Marak, Conservator of Forest, Wildlife and Territorial, Garo Hills region  and  N Micheal, DFO, Garo Hills Division.
During the technical session, wildlife experts and scientists of international repute are presenting their views and observations and thereby to design a concrete action plan to save the elephants during this three- day workshop.
Officials and staff of the department, Nokmas of different villages, representatives of various biodiversity management committees of Garo Hills among others were present in the workshop.

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