Coimbatore

Wildlife-vehicle conflicts come down on Talamalai Road

A wild elephant crossing the road in Talamalai Forest Range in Erode.

A wild elephant crossing the road in Talamalai Forest Range in Erode.   | Photo Credit: M_GOVARTHAN

The Forest Department has banned movement of vehicles from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.

The Forest Department’s strict enforcement in restricting vehicle movement on 23 km. Dhimbam - Talamalai Road in Sathyamangalam Tiger Reserve (STR) and initiating action against the violators has ensured free movement of wild animals, particularly elephants, on the stretch.

Thick forest cover, availability of adequate water and prevailing temperature makes it an ideal habitat for the animals, as elephants, tiger, leopard, bison, spotted deer, sambar deer and small animals are found in large numbers on the stretch that comes under the Talamalai Forest Range.

With human-animal conflict reported in the stretch frequently, movement of vehicles were completely banned from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. while vehicles only after obtaining permission were allowed to use the stretch during day time. Six tribal hamlets are located in the range and people were also asked to adhere to the rules.

Currently, on an average 20 to 25 vehicles are allowed to use the stretch during the day time after obtaining permission from the range office. The visitor is given a pamphlet containing 12 rules that he or she need to follow for obtaining permission. Rules include non-usage of plastic items, desist from smoking or consuming alcohol, should not disturb or harm animals and should not involve in taking selfie in front of animals.

The visitor had to follow these rules apart from adhering to the rules as prescribed in the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.

Senior officials said that recently cases were registered against two persons for taking selfie on the forest road despite warnings. Since, surveillance television cameras installed at the check post help us to monitor vehicles, violators cannot escape, they added. They added that a few visitors stop their vehicles and tease the elephants and land in trouble.

“Local people also help us in passing information and such violators are traced with the help of cameras”, they added. They said that tourists who want to enjoy the beauty of wildlife can utilise the eco-tourism programmes offered by STR.

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Printable version | Feb 25, 2020 9:27:33 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/wildlife-vehicle-conflicts-come-down-on-talamalai-road/article28692798.ece

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