‘Report on human-elephant conflict this month’ | Daily News

‘Report on human-elephant conflict this month’

Wildlife Department sources said that a report with recommendations to resolve human-elephant conflict will be submitted to the President and the Prime minister in this month. The Committee was given two months to submit the report.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa recently appointed the special committee to draft a national plan to resolve the conflict.

The 14 member committee is led by Environment Scientist and Head of the Centre for Conservation and Research in Sri Lanka Dr. Prithiviraj Fernando. Seven Government Agents, Senior Executives from the Wildlife Conservation Department, Forest Conservation and Irrigation Departments are included in the committee. It will look in to the National Policy 2006, which was approved by the then Cabinet and but to be implemented.

The Anuradhapura Government Agent said that the report including recommendations will be submitted to the President shortly.

A recent study, meanwhile, has revealed that wild elephants in Sri Lanka are contiguous except two groups in the Wet Zone in the Adam's Peak and the Sinharaja forest.

The study has found that wild elephants have lost around 16 per cent of their range in the last six decades and expanded by 1.5 per cent. Environmental scientists have informed the authorities that elephants are absent in urban and densely populated areas. Seventy per cent of elephants’ habitats lie in semi-developed areas with natural cover interspersed with agriculture and human dwellings.

The recent surveys have disclosed that the human-elephant conflict has been a result of confining wild elephants to the Department of Wild life Conservation areas. This approach has failed and over 70 per cent of elephants are now live outside those areas. Trying to confine elephants to department jurisdictions increases the conflict and number of deaths of elephants and humans.