Perceptions and patterns of human–elephant conflict at Barjora block of Bankura district in West Bengal, India: insights for mitigation and management
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Human–elephant conflict is an issue of great concern regarding the growing competition between people and wildlife for food and shelter throughout Asia and Africa. The situation the Asian elephant faces is much critical. According to IUCN (Big hopes for endangered Asian Elephants, News Release, Gland, 2006), one of the prime factors to the decline of elephant population in India is the increasing trend in human–elephant conflict. Barjora block of Bankura district in West Bengal is one of the severe conflict prone zones in West Bengal, where elephant raid in every year has now become an inevitable phenomenon. As a result, crop damage, infrastructural damages, disturbances of daily activities, occurrence of human death and injuries have no doubt annihilated and frustrated the social fabric of life. This paper is an empirical attempt to address various consequences of human–elephant encounters which have an adverse impact on social, economic as well as the cultural life of the people. Instead of pursuing some traditional mitigation techniques, we argued much on understanding peoples’ perception to explore some sustainable mitigation measures to ensure the interest of both human and elephant and also to safeguard ecological integrity.
KeywordsHuman–elephant conflict Deep ecology Crop raiding Resettlement Ex-gratia payment Sustainable mitigation measures
We are thankful to the local residents of Barjora block and the staffs of Bankura North Divisional Forest Office for their heartiest cooperation during the field work. We are also thankful to Sri. Mitrojit Chatterjee, Smt. Devomitra Chakraborty, Indrani Mukherjee for their valuable suggestions and clarifications.
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