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Crop Damage by Wild Animals in Thrissur District, Kerala, India

  • Suresh K. Govind
  • E. A. Jayson
Chapter

Abstract

Human-wildlife conflict (HWC) is a contentious issue, and crop damage by wild animals is a major problem in Kerala, India. A study on crop damage by wild animals was carried out in Thrissur District, Kerala, India, from April 2009 to March 2012, to assess the crop damage by wild animals and the economic loss incurred to the farmers due to wild animals. For assessing the crop damage, quadrats of 10 m x 10 m were taken randomly in the fringe areas of eight Forest Ranges. Incidences of crop damage were recorded from the quadrat in each month (n = 36), and the species of crops damaged was quantified. Economic loss was estimated by multiplying the quantity of crops damaged within the quadrat, with the market value of crops which was collected from the Farm Information Bureau, Kerala. Ten species of wild animals damaged 11 species of crops in the District. Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) did the highest damage, and the economic loss was estimated as Rs.17,35,625/- per annum, followed by wild pig (Sus scrofa) (Rs. 3736/- per ha/annum) and Indian crested porcupine (Hystrix indica) (Rs. 615.47/- per ha/annum). Feeding on tender coconuts (Cocos nucifera) by Indian giant squirrel (Ratufa indica) was reported for the first time, and this feeding behaviour was reported from three Forest Ranges adjacent to the wildlife sanctuaries. Mean loss was Rs. 2247/- per annum. Indian peafowl (Pavo cristatus) and other birds contributed to high economic loss in the paddy fields (Oryza sativa) near Chulanur Peafowl Sanctuary, Kerala, and the loss was Rs. 16,615.45/- per ha. The study indicated that crop damage by animals is causing severe economic loss to farmers in the District, and mitigation measures, namely, solar electric fence, chilli-rope fence, yellow-coloured plastic sheet fence and fishnet fence, are suggested.

Keywords

Crop damage Human-wildlife conflict Kerala Thrissur India 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We are thankful to the Director, Dr. K.V. Sankaran (Retd.), Kerala Forest Research Institute, for providing necessary facilities for the study. Forest officials of Thrissur District and farmers in the fringe areas of the forest gave all co-operation needed for the study.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Wildlife DepartmentKerala Forest Research InstituteThrissurIndia

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