Man and Animal Conflict; Nature and the wilderness provide hope to the wild animals and that is the reason we can live a peaceful life in the cities. The destruction of vegetation cover, encroachment of domain land, poaching of wild animals etc, the disturbances that are being caused by man results in ecological imbalance, and eventually, the wild organisms/animals experience scarcity of required food in their home grounds and in search of the same they appear out of their habitats to the nearby human inhibitions.
Thus man and animal conflicts are brought out between humans and animals. This happens especially between humans and wild elephants all over the world and this issue has now become a perplexing problem in Assam.
As cited earlier, while the animals come out of their natural habitats in search of required food due to shortage of the same in their domain resulting from the shrinking of habitats by human-inhabited around the natural spheres in the following ways, then the man-animal conflicts emerge.
Destruction of vegetation cover: Illicit felling of trees by human beings and trespassing of both men and their pets (cattle) in the forests cause harm to the natural abodes of wild animals which results in the declination of available food for the animals. Wild animals get the impulse to come out to human inhabitants in search of the same.
Reasons for Man and Animal conflict
- In the form of dwelling houses: Due to the population explosion, people living nearby the natural habitats, for want of accommodation in their original places, occupy forest land and construct inhabiting houses by demolishing animal homes, particularly the elephant corridors. Sometimes, the vested interested political parties having political powers do the practices of settling people of other places, who, being deposed by natural calamities, form the vote bank of those political parties, in forest lands.
- In the form of cultivation of local crops: In search of fertile soil, the nearby people of the natural domain tend to clear forest land for cultivating local crops for their livelihood. The wild elephants are very much fond of ripped paddy and so they damage the crops raised by the nearby villagers. As soon as the villagers try to prevent the wild elephants from entering their paddy fields, the Man and animal Conflict takes place.
- In the form of cultivation of tea: This is the major factor of encroachment of forest land. Most of the tea gardens are situated at sites neighbouring the forest land and in course of the passing of time, the owners of the said tea gardens expand their garden land by intruding upon the nearby forest lands. The private tea growers have become more threats to the natural habitats in Assam as most of the same has got forest land allotted in the name of revenue land by involving the revenue authorities. It is appropriate to mention here that the private tea growers relinquish the illegal doers to fell trees illegally in the forest land nearby their tea gardens to merge the blank land so created with their gardens and thus the forest lands get decreased.
- In the form of diversion of forest land: Sometimes, for developmental activities like the erection of power lines, widening of the road, mining operations etc., it becomes inevitable to divert forest land which also contributes to the decreasing of natural habitats causing threats to the wild animals and thus leads to the occurrence of Man and Animal Conflict.
Over the years Assam has experienced Man and animal Conflict occurring due to the dwindling of forest cover because of the reasons as described in the above paras for which both man and animal conflict have to lose their lives and property. The official data of the Government of Assam as quoted below depicts the gravity of the worst situation of the man-elephant conflict in Assam. The data on the death of wild elephants include the 18 wild elephants who were killed due to electrocution by lightning on the 13/05/2021 night at Kondoli PRF under the Nagaon Division.