Forest Dept. initiates drive against illegal fences, snares in Gudalur

Forest staff in Gudalur removing an electric fence from elephant pathways in Devala recently.

Forest staff in Gudalur removing an electric fence from elephant pathways in Devala recently. | Photo Credit: M. SATHYAMOORTHY

The Forest Department has initiated a drive against illegally erected electric and solar fences that were blocking crucial elephant and animal pathways in the Gudalur forest division.

A few days ago, the department cleared a section of fencing in the AMV private estate in Pandalur forest range near Devala town. Forest officials told The Hindu elephants were being pushed towards Devala town while passing through the area due to the fence. “As a result, problematic human-elephant interactions could increase, leading to damage to houses and property and in worst-case scenarios, to life,” said an official.

Though the estate is a few acres in area, a team of forest staff visited the location and cleared around 15 meters in fencing to facilitate elephant movement through the estate between the forests and swamp lands in Gudalur. The action was initiated following directions from District Forest Officer (Gudalur division), Kommu Omkaram.

The department has also initiated a clampdown against use of snares and also poaching in the division, following recent reports that wildlife, including gaur are being hunted for their meat by criminal groups from Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Supriya Sahu, Additional Chief Secretary, Environment, Climate Change and Forests, tweeted a video of the drive against fences hindering elephant movement. “The week begins with intensive patrolling and combing operations by Forest field staff to look for and remove electric fences, snaps and traps especially in Elephant migration routes and Tiger territories [sic]. This is critical to protect wildlife,” Ms. Sahu said in her tweet on Monday.

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Printable version | Jun 21, 2022 12:14:51 am |