Chat Archives
Chat on "Human Elephant Conflict" dated June 17, 2012
  • Susan Sharma: Today's chat program is cancelled as Dr.Christy could not make himself avavilable at the last minute. Sorry for the inconvenience caused to members.
  • John H. Eickert: Hello Susan
  • Susan Sharma: Hi john
  • Susan Sharma: Hi ritu
  • ritu sharma: hi susan and john...this is ritu from bangalore
  • John H. Eickert: Too bad about todays chat, next month?
  • Susan Sharma: John, would you like to tell us about your take on human elephant conflict?
  • Susan Sharma: Well next month we have another chat line up.
  • John H. Eickert: Human/elephant conflict is only an example. Elephant are large and easily visible but man has come into conflict in all environs with all of nature and has yet to learn how to live together.
  • Susan Sharma: Ritu, what do you say?
  • ritu sharma: i agree to john , its the nature the man need to understand ..
  • Susan Sharma: Karnataka has the largest number of wild elephants, probably. Conflict cases also abound.
  • Susan Sharma: Welcome ash.
  • ash: hi everybody
  • ash: my first time in the chat
  • ritu sharma: hi ash...
  • ash: hi ritu
  • Susan Sharma: Where are you from ash?
  • John H. Eickert: If space, unassailable space, can be found and granted permance then not only can the elephant exist but all the smaller, less obvious creatures and humanity will have established a legacy for generations.
  • John H. Eickert: Hi Ash, hi Ritu
  • Susan Sharma: that is a tall order, John.
  • ash: based in Panchkula
  • ash: and not directly connected with elephants
  • ash: but have seen a number of conflicks in the east
  • Susan Sharma: I guess none of us are, we are just concerned and came to learn from a biologist, who unfortunately could not come.
  • ash: I feel that the basic concept has to be coexistance
  • ash: we are also an animal
  • Susan Sharma: You are right, ash I agree with you.
  • ash: then mutually we have to give the rights
  • ash: hi john
  • John H. Eickert: Elephants have a limited ability to change how they live and their environment but many has an ifinite capacity for change.
  • Susan Sharma: Coexistence has to start with small animals, then we may be able to understand why elephants attack crops, why thet raid fields....
  • John H. Eickert: Perhaps the elephants are hungry
  • ash: Mahi welcome
  • John H. Eickert: Hello Mahi
  • ash: jhon everyone is hungry
  • Mahi Puri: hi
  • Mahi Puri: just trying to read up on the above to see what ive missed
  • John H. Eickert: Good point Ash, how can everyone be fed?
  • ash: and we have to give them their way
  • ash: we can't teach them, but if we give them proper space
  • ash: we coexist
  • ash: i think we have to mark the various conflict areas
  • Susan Sharma: Understanding elephant behaviour and their food habits will help humans to ward off conflict.
  • ritu sharma: space is very important for any animal but these conflicts happen when they dont get it...
  • ash: yes
  • ash: so we have two factors - food and space
  • ritu sharma: yes , agree with ash..
  • Rohit Pansare: hi everyone I m Rohit from Ahmedabad..
  • ash: hi rohit
  • Susan Sharma: Hi Rohit
  • ritu sharma: hi rohit
  • Rohit Pansare: @ash u've made an important point...
  • ash: any organisation which supports the elephants side
  • Susan Sharma: John, How do you deal with bear human conflict in US/ in Montana?
  • ash: i mean we can't keep on reducing the forest cover
  • Rohit Pansare: The problem of conflict is more severe near urban areas....not sure about the case of elephants...but a lot of other wildlife too
  • ash: Rohit you are right
  • John H. Eickert: When a bear encroaches it is relocated and offered a number of chances to exist but if it continues to come into conflict it is destroyed.
  • ash: and the problems of all the animals is same - Space
  • Rohit Pansare: ahmedabad-peacocks...mumbai-le0pords
  • ash: john i feel it not the Bear but we have encroached on their area
  • John H. Eickert: Yes Ash, and here in Montana the space itself is changing. The forests are drying and disappearing and within a generation we will have a different ecosystem.
  • Susan Sharma: The decision to kill a bear is taken by the wildlife dept?
  • John H. Eickert: Yes, the wildlife department makes that decision. And yes, the continuous overburden created by man's needs overshadows those of the bears in Montana or the elephant in India.
  • ash: Susan it the fight so some humans give life initially and then when the animals do not (listen)
  • ash: it has to be smothered
  • ash: somethered means - food and space
  • ash: not provided
  • ash: and then called intruder!
  • ritu sharma: but again as john said it is linked to the ecosystem, any change in it will have impact..
  • ash: so we all the humans have to think over - who is the intruder
  • Rohit Pansare: In case of a natural system thats deteriorating the animals would relocate to better areas but now either there arent any such areas left or the animals are forced to adapt to human interventions..
  • Rohit Pansare: Ive heard bears often forage for food in garbage bins in cities..
  • ash: anyone can enlighten about the elephant conflict areas
  • ritu sharma: it is on rise in karnataka
  • rohit: hey guys...
  • rohit: good to see so many folks
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: In parts of India, Indo-Nepal border as also South India, most places, with humans building inside forests, we have not only reduced forest cover, we have also made it impossible for the Elephants to migrate to adjoining areas by cutting off corridors
  • ash: what does elephant need?
  • ash: Dense forest
  • rohit: like sigur platuea problem in TN
  • ash: water resorce
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: Oh the elephant needs lots of fodder, undisturbed existence, lots of water, ability to move over large areas
  • rohit: all resorts blocking corridors
  • Rohit Pansare: The average area required for a herd of elephants including their migration areas must be huge
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: sure considering the huge appetite the elephant has
  • Susan Sharma: Can we imagine a world without wild elephants?
  • Rohit Pansare: the largest mammals on land.....impossible..
  • rohit: we can imagine..but cant live with !!
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: Even as we become aware of the issues involved and find it impossible to rehabilitate forests that we have destroyed, experts need to identify old migration routes of animals and secure these for 'exclusive' use of elephants
  • ash: YES exclusive use
  • rohit: @shashi may how old u are reffering
  • rohit: @sashi may i know..
  • John H. Eickert: Yes, old migration routes are important but perhaps some no longer exist and others might not be able to support the 300-350 pounds of forage each elephant needs each day.
  • ash: old i feel is where the elephants were comfortable
  • Rohit Pansare: Designing cities such that these routes are not disturbed or an alternative is created...is very important cause just like u cant stop a elephant...u cant stop a city from growing
  • John H. Eickert: You can't stop a city from growing but you can stop it from sprawling across the landscape.
  • rohit: yup....sustainable development
  • ash: @Rohit but we as humans can adjust but the animals can't
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: Those corridors have been used by elephants for ages, I believe.A world without animals really will mean one without green cover, forests, and hence rain, sounds like a recipe for will man survive.
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: I meant a formula for destroying more than just the green cover/animals
  • Rohit Pansare: @john absolutely...In india though sprawl is considered development....
  • ash: we have to conserve the eco system for everyones existance
  • rohit: @ash this quite radical statement for some, which might block the ways we can find to balance the two things..development and conservation
  • John H. Eickert: Mark Plotkin, PHD once theorized that unless humanity learns to control itself then the natural world will be comprised of rats, cockroaches and pidgeons.
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: Sure responsible use of natural resources is the first step towards achieving harmony
  • ritu sharma: elephants expand their range ....increase in human activity increases the conflicts..
  • Susan Sharma: When elephants disappear from the wild, forests will disappear.
  • rohit: @ritu plz i think , i wont agree with u...
  • rohit: @wud u plz lemme know how they expand thier
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: Elephants need to expand their range when they run short of fodder/space to form and support their on social groups
  • rohit: @ritu ..range
  • ritu sharma: on which point?
  • rohit: ohh....
  • rohit: shashi kant did it..
  • Rohit Pansare: many sprawl control measures talk of green corridors...that allow movement of wildlife...not sure how far these are effective
  • rohit: thanx nyways...
  • ash: anyone here who has got involved with the elephants directly
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: I believe travelling from Bangaluru to Kochi by Road that cuts through pristine forest is a good example of not only how we disturb animals but also how we initiate conflict
  • Rohit Pansare: Wouldnt fragmentation of habitat be a bigger problem...with roads and rails cutting accross habitata..
  • rohit: any solutions wud be welcome to these roads and railways...
  • rohit: apart from the proposed highways
  • rohit: really ajoke on conservation
  • Rohit Pansare: similar case is in GIR santuary with asiatic lions
  • Susan Sharma: Forest dept has been trying to open a corridoor betn Rajaji and Corbett for years.
  • rohit: saw a initiative of WTI , where they did gr8 work to reduce deaths on tracks in corbett..apart from convincing authorities to go round the park
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: Gir does have a problem of too little space for all the lions but the governments of adjoining states have been quibbling about providing these lions some alternative space to live comfortably
  • Susan Sharma: Similarly one betn Nepal and Corbett, Here elephants are victim to Political borders
  • rohit: they cleard the vegetation around tight corners to help train drivers
  • ash: all the human made borders are a problems for the animals also
  • Susan Sharma: @Rohit that is a good practical solution
  • rohit: this is one part..wait lemme see the link if i have it....
  • rohit: its on youtube..
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: Yeah thank God for those minor mercies too - that corridor killed over 20 elephants over the lat 18 months, as reported about 2 months back
  • Susan Sharma: I guess a top down and bottom up approach is needed for saving the elephants.
  • ash: if their is a conflict zone we have to have a solution
  • ash: and more conducive to these creatures
  • Rohit Pansare: wud anyone be knowing about any solutions that have worked...kind of documented success stories..
  • rohit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBXToOFUfKY
  • rohit: here u go
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: It would appear that people around the forests/wildlife corridors who have lived with these animals for generations, will need to lead this/get involved
  • rohit: its a documentry like
  • rohit: 3 parts of this video i think
  • Susan Sharma: Thanks, Rohit
  • rohit: :)
  • ash: rohit thanks
  • rohit: regarding locals i think they have manymore issues which need their attention..
  • Susan Sharma: a report by Ankur Chaturvedi can be read at http://www.indianwildlifeclub.com/ResearchPapers/Human-Elephant-Conflict.aspx
  • rohit: its we urbanites who do PHDs in conservaton can talk in details with research papers in hand..
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: For sure but the most practical solutions generally emerge from brainstorming with those at grass root
  • rohit: really we need to move masses from cities
  • rohit: who are really consumers
  • ash: the conflict points on the ground has to be handled
  • ash: we have to give way to them
  • Rohit Pansare: thanks rohit & susan for the links
  • Susan Sharma: Ankur Chaturvedi is a tea planter who experienced conflict first hand
  • ash: i have seen a number of places of conflict in dehradun and around
  • ash: this conflict area is very old
  • ash: a number of accidents
  • Susan Sharma: I believe the Africans have managed their conflict situations well may be we can learn from them too.
  • ritu sharma: we had a recent case in karnataka where elephant attacked a man who went close to herd with camera
  • ash: with the humans growing mentally and developing, why cna't we have an underground system in the conflict zone
  • Susan Sharma: Ash, that is an idea worth exploring!
  • Susan Sharma: an underpass for elephants
  • ash: may be for our move paths
  • John H. Eickert: Or an overpass, elephants are very intelligent
  • Susan Sharma: John and others , can we sum up this interesting discussion? Thanks to all participants
  • ash: just have a look at this link https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150891511688316.413790.614433315&type=1&l=2877dde1e4
  • ash: the humans do not react before the problems start
  • John H. Eickert: Thanks to all, I learned a lot today.
  • ash: its only after the broblem has multiplyed
  • ash: very very nice interaction with alll
  • ash: huge learning
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: Thanks every one it was nice interacting with this group. lots to learn/think about
  • ritu sharma: it was a good session...thanks to all...
  • rohit: thanks guys we need people like u go forward...
  • Susan Sharma: Ash the link shows Sukhna lake
  • ash: yes susan but the point what i want to make is that we react after the problem
  • rohit: thanx susan
  • rohit: thanx ash fo rlink
  • Susan Sharma: Let us keep talking- Teamwork can achieve the impossible
  • rohit: yup sure..
  • Shashi Kant Sharma: Sure look how well a mahout and elephant team up
  • ash: Thanks all
  • rohit: see guys next time..
  • Susan Sharma: So, good night everyone (have a great day John!)
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