The Udhagamandalam South Forest Range conducted an awareness campaign at Ithalar High School here.
Forest Department officials said the outreach program was organized under the Hariyali Project for Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change Response (TBGPCCR). The staff conducted various events among school students to convey the message about the factors driving negative human-animal interactions in the Nilgiris and what local residents can do to prevent such interactions.
In addition to discouraging residents from venturing into nearby forest areas after dark, forest staff also explained the reasons why there were many negative interactions between humans and bears in Ithalar. Staff reported that due to inadequate and improper waste disposal in the area, sloth bears were attracted to human settlements in Ithalar, leading to more negative human-animal interactions.
Officials said that children were sensitized about the safe disposal of waste generated from their homes, so that they could take this message to their villages.
Similarly, a few days ago another awareness campaign was conducted in Kuruthukulli. According to officials, the campaign, also focused on human-animal relationship, was organized in Governor Shola. Local forest range officers, foresters and field staff organized the camp in which tribal and non-tribal residents of Kavakadumund, Agnadumund, Malaivithimund, Kunthakodumund, Attakormund and Anikalmund participated. A press note from the forest department said, “The forest range officer explained how humans and animals including tigers and leopards can live together and co-exist in the same habitat.”
Officials said the local residents have also demanded basic amenities in the area such as roads, electricity and cutting of dangerous trees that pose a threat to them during rains and heavy winds.