Ending the destructive cycle of human-wildlife conflict

An important highway cuts through the Bandipur Tiger Reserve in southern India. It is a busy road, mainly carrying holiday-makers and vegetable-laden trucks from Mysore and Bangalore to destinations in Kerala and Tamil Nadu. Yet, despite the activity, travelers report an astonishing variety of wildlife crossing the highway or by the roadside.

But if you take a morning drive along this road between April and November, one particular species of domestic animal may dominate your sightings — cattle. Thousands of withered but hardy native cattle are driven into the Reserve illegally each day during the monsoon season. At this time, outside the Reserve, nearly all land is under cultivation, and there is almost nowhere else the region's 1,00,000 cattle can graze.

Full article can be read in The Hindu's Survey of the Environment 2010. The publication is now on stands. Copies can be obtained by Registered Post (not V.P.P.) for Rs.80 (Rupees Eighty) by drawing a cheque in favour of "Kasturi and Sons Ltd." (Add Rs.10 for non-Chennai cheques) and sending it to the Circulation Department, The Hindu, 859-860, Anna Salai, Chennai 600002 Email: subs@thehindu.co.in

Pavithra Sankaran & MD Madhusudan are with the Nature Conservation Foundation (www.conservation.in) and can be reached at web@conservation.in