AN OVERVIEW OF HUMAN- ELEPHANT CONFLICTS IN TAMIL NADU

T. Umakanthan, C. Ananthan, Karthick Kumar N.

Abstract


Human- elephant conflict (HEC) is a serious issue in all elephant’s ranges. It creates considerable economic hardships for the affected farmers. There are several regions that experience crop damage by elephants recurrently. Human casualties due to encounters with the elephants are also an issue of serious concern. From the year 1991 to 2007 a total of 204 human deaths have been recorded due to human and elephant encounters. Initially for a period of eight years from 1991 the death rates were minimal in numbers ranging from 2 to 10 but rapidly increased as 15 deaths were recorded during the year 2000 and it kept on raising till death rates were in range between 18 to 27 till the year 2007, among which the year 2002 recorded the highest human death in number of 27 followed by 24, 22 in the years 2006 and 2003 respectively. On the other side elephants too have died due to their unexpected encounters and a total number of 298 elephant deaths were recorded from the years 2015 to 2018 in India among them 29 were from Tamil Nadu. The cause of deaths and the percentage of those elephants from Tamil Nadu was 90 % due to electrocution, 7 % by poaching and 3% by train accidents.  Hence Human- elephant encounters became a major cause for their deaths and it was alarmingly increasing due to which necessary actions such as early warning measures, repellent measures and restrictive measures must be taken. Tamil Nadu government has already compensated for the human lives lost and as well as crop / property damaged during the years 2015-2018. A total sum of rupees 693 lakhs was compensated for human lives and rupees 857 lakhs for crop / property damages. During this period the highest compensation for human deaths and crop/ property damage was paid for the years 2015-16 in both cases, which were 196.5 lakhs and 250 lakhs respectively.

Keywords: Human- elephant Conflict, Human deaths, Tamil Nadu, Compensation, Mitigation measures.


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