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Wild elephants to be kept at bay

Staff Reporter
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A high-level meeting plans to map movement of the pachyderms

Director-General of Forests S.S. Garbyal chairing the interstate coordination meeting on ‘Elephant migration’ in Tirupati on Thursday. Principal Chief Conservators of Forest, Andhra Pradesh, A.V. Joseph and B.S.S. Reddy are seen.-photo: Special Arrangement
Director-General of Forests S.S. Garbyal chairing the interstate coordination meeting on ‘Elephant migration’ in Tirupati on Thursday. Principal Chief Conservators of Forest, Andhra Pradesh, A.V. Joseph and B.S.S. Reddy are seen.-photo: Special Arrangement

Elephants straying of late into the Kuppam belt are unwelcome henceforth.

Though elephants have the tendency to move in herds from one area to the contiguous forests, they seldom move out of their habitation into newer pockets. However, over the last decade, forest officials all over south India have observed the trend of tuskers getting out of their traditional belts into hitherto-unexplored areas.

The inter-State coordination meeting on ‘Elephant migration’ held here on Thursday, with the Director-General (Forests) S.S. Garbyal in the chair, provided interesting insights into the growing inability of elephants to adjust to the ever-shrinking territory. Principal Chief Conservators of Forest (PCCF) and the Chief Wildlife Wardens of the southern states B.S.S. Reddy (Andhra Pradesh), A.V. Joseph (AP Wildlife), Lakshmi Narayana (Tamil Nadu), V.Gopinathan (Kerala), Vinay Luthra (Karnataka), Inspector-General of Forest (WL) S.K. Khanduri, Conservators of Forest M.Ravi Kumar (Tirupati) and Md. Ibrahim (Anantapur) among others discussed the behavioural pattern of the pachyderms.

An interesting point to note is that the elephants of Tamil Nadu-Karnataka belt never ventured into Andhra Pradesh for close to three centuries. The movement into the Kuppam area started only in 2011, which reached alarming proportions in 2013 in the form of loss of lives and damage to vast extents of crops.

In fact, the State government is taking steps to prevent the inflow of the elephants by digging a 9 km-long trench and solar fencing for a distance of 30 km in Nadimur beat up to the porous Betraya Mallappa Konda, where there are numerous entry points. The meeting decided to map the elephant movement and the need to study the behavioural pattern at the micro level.

The government has already taken up digging of 9 km-long trench and solar fencing for 30 km in Nadimur to check entry of elephants

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