K'taka Forest dept to install fox lights to end human-elephant conflict
Chmarajanagaa/UNI: The Karnataka Forest Department proposes to install automated flashlights of varying colours in its bid to reduce human-elephant conflict along the forest periphery.
According to T Balachandra, Conservator of Forests and Director, Bandipur Tiger Reserve, this has been taken up on experimental basis at Gopalaswamy Betta range of Bandipur in a small way and there were no cost implications for the department.
He said the concept was being tested in the Gopalswamy Betta range where the conflict is intense. It entails placing a few of these lights called Fox lights, developed by a Australian company.
''Fox light was basically designed to keep away foxes and is yet to be tested on elephants or other wild animals that foray into human habitat in our country,'' Mr Balachandra said.
It could be installed in fields along the forest periphery at varying distances and was battery-operated. It flashes high-intensity light that was expected to act as a deterrent against the intruding animals.
The efficacy of the lights would be studied for three to four months before conducting an in-depth study of the new system, Mr Balachandra said. A representative of the company manufacturing these lights recently visited Bandipur and offered a few of these lights for use on an experimental basis.
At present, the Forest Department has taken a series of measures, including laying of railway track fence along the village-forest boundary, solar fence and digging elephant-proof trenches, all with varying degrees of success.