ZAK plans 'Conservation Speak to Conservation Action'

ZAK plans 'Conservation Speak to Conservation Action'

ZAK plans 'Conservation Speak to Conservation Action'

The Zoo Authority of Karnataka (ZAK) has planned 'Conservation Speak to Conservation Action' in view of addressing conservation issues in practice, in the wake of the increase in man-animal conflict and deterioration of ecosystems.

ZAK, Sri Chamarajendra Zoological Gardens (Mysuru Zoo) and the Forest department will host a meeting of all stakeholders on February 8, to take stock of issues related to leopard conflicts in human habitats and landscapes. In future, ZAK will take up similar efforts across the state, related to region or area specific conservation issues.

Member Secretary of ZAK B P Ravi said, Mysuru region is witnessing an increase in human-animal conflict in recent days, especially sighting of leopards in human habituated landscapes.

"Reasons vary from reproductive biology, adaptability of leopard to change in lifestyle of human beings, extension of human dwellings on farmlands, setting up of hotels and resorts and disposal of food and animal waste by meat shops and slaughter houses," he pointed out.

"Mysuru Zoo had initiated a programme called 'Conservation Speak' to create awareness about conservation measures initiated and adopted in India, particularly in Karnataka, by the government and NGOs.

The Mysuru Zoo, with its conservation education activities has created general awareness about wildlife and conservation practices and policies among the stakeholders.

However, conservation cannot be completed unless we move from the 'conservation speak to conservation action'. Conservation is not only conservation of forests, wildlife and natural resources, but also of inter-generation equity.

It's about the involvement of citizens in helping the government and other agencies involved in daily conservation measures, as well as in checking human-animal conflicts," he said.

"Besides having knowledge about conservation, affirmative action by stakeholders is important to contain or mitigate human animal conflicts. It boils down to individual action.

It's about what we do when nobody is watching. Starting from alerting the agencies concerned about the sighting of wild animals in human habituated landscapes, it includes cooperation and action of influencing the common people in containing the problems in high conflict zones.

ZAK, in association with the Forest department, is contemplating a quarterly programme, where all stakeholders would be given an opportunity to share their experience and to formulate coordinated action on a specific issue related to conservation.

So from 'conservation speak' we will be moving to conservation action, thus helping the society to have a better understanding and appreciation of wildlife and also the reasons behind conservation of a species or habitat in the interest of future generations," Ravi said.

"Aspects like biology, behaviour and natural distribution; ecological significance; why we talk about them; how many leopards are rescued and released; how many are there; method of capture and release; who are the stakeholders; what factors contribute to the increase in their numbers; who is responsible for conflict management; what role different stakeholders can play; what measures should be taken; how many human casualties are reported in a year; what to expect from the Forest department; what is the role of the zoo; improvisation in rescue and relief; what public should do in case of an emergency; do's and don'ts; conservation education to conservation action; what role media can play; livelihood, lifestyles, technology, perception; etc would be discussed in the programmes," he said.

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