Human-elephant conflict: Forest Dept installs ANIDERS

Forest Dept installs ANIDERS to check human-elephant conflict

The devices were procured from Jhansi and had been installed at two places in Sullia range as a part of the pilot project

The farmers are also informed whenever the movement of elephants is tracked, in order to alert them. Credit: DH File Photo

To reduce the incidences of human-elephant conflicts, the Forest Department has installed Animal Intrusion Detection and Repellent System (ANIDERS), a smart system that helps officials monitor the situation in real time and also scares away the elephants, on a pilot basis in Sullia Range.

“Looking at the success, the system will be installed in other areas where man-elephant conflicts are reported,” Dakshina Kannada Deputy Conservator of Forests (DCF) V Karikalan told DH. He said that the smart system had infrared sensors used for tracking the movement of animals. When the animals are detected in human habitations, it triggers a signal to make a sound. Whenever the herd passes through the area, it makes a sound, and the herd gets scared and runs away, he added.

Karikalan said the devices were procured from Jhansi and had been installed at two places in Sullia range as a part of the pilot project. Wherever the devices have been installed, the movement of elephants has been tracked and the elephants have returned back to the forest, he said.

The farmers are also informed whenever the movement of elephants is tracked, in order to alert them. Herds of elephants move between Uppinangady and Hassan, Madikeri and Sullia and other areas in the district, he said.

Karikalan said the Department had chalked out a comprehensive plan to tackle human-elephant conflict at a cost of Rs 14 crore and had submitted it to the government. Further, the ANIDERS operates on solar energy, which is an added benefit.

Trenches

Further, the Department has been carrying out the work on laying elephant-proof trenches in the affected areas to check the straying of elephants into the human habitations. This year, with the available fund, 12-km-long trenches will be dug in Sullia and Subrahmanya areas, he said.

Already, the work on around 85 km of trenches has been completed. The plan is to have the trench across an additional length of 100 km. The digging of the trenches is a continuous process which is taken up every year, Karikalan added.

Even farmers are also encouraged to install solar-powered fences to check the straying of animals. The Department has also set up anti-depredation camps in the ranges. Members respond to distress calls by farmers, the DCF said. It may be recalled that a herd of elephants from Periyashanthi in Mannagundi reserve forest had caused extensive damages to crops in Kaukradi, Bhoothaladka, Honnajalu, Aanadka, Mannagundi and other surrounding areas. Elephants had also raided a plantation at Kadirudyavara in Belthangady taluk.