Human Elephant conflict in Odisha is very distressing. I am sharing a news article regarding the cause of Human elephant conflict in the mines ravaged landscape of Keonjhar.


BHUBANESWAR: The state forest department has refuted a study by a central institute, which has blamed excessive mining in Keonjhar's Joda-Barbil area for disturbing the three-km Karo-Karampada elephant corridor.

In a draft report submitted to Orissa State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB), the Ahmedabad-based Centre for Environmental Planning and Technology (CEPT) mentioned that elephant population between Tholkobad and Toda reserve forests was affected due to disturbances caused by settlers and mining activities. The pollution control board had engaged CEPT to launch a "carrying capacity" survey in the region.

"Elephant deaths have shown an increasing trend. Most of the deaths are due to accidents and poaching. There was an alarming increase in elephant deaths due to diseases. This can be attributed to increased pollution as well as encroachment and fragmentation of their habitat," the draft report said.

The draft report also mentioned: "Threats to the elephants are being caused by expansion of SAIL township, mining areas, heavy traffic and activities of mining machineries and railway line."

Karo-Karampada corridor connects Sidhamata reserve forest in Keonjhar district to Karampada reserve forest of Saranda division in Jharkhand. On an average, about 50 elephants use the corridor.

Principal chief conservator of forest J D Sharma, however, refuted the report on mining activities disturbing the elephant corridor. "Forest clearance is given keeping in mind the habitat of wild animals. The corridor is safe and intact and elephants move safely and freely," he said.

Keonjhar's assistant conservator of forest S Samanta admitted to large number of elephant deaths in Barbil and Champua ranges near Karo-Karampada corridor, but ruled out mining activities as the reason.

"According to our records, 19 elephants have died in the region since 2005. Most of the deaths reported were due to diseases and accident," said Samanta.

Forest officials said the movement of elephants from Jharkhand varies from season to season. Normally, between September and December, large number of herds move towards Karo.

Source article: http://articles.timesofindia.indiati...ant-population