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Pauri villagers to learn European techniques to ward off leopards

The Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is carrying out field demonstrations on conflict mitigation measures like the ones practised in the European countries--to keep cougar and wolves at bay-- to deter leopards from straying into human habitations, said Dipanjan Naha, project associate at the WII.

dehradun Updated: Dec 10, 2017 21:16 IST
Arvind Moudgil
Arvind Moudgil
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand news,Leopards,Pauri district
The WII team conducted a field demonstration of a European technique under which bright coloured ribbons were tied on ropes to scare the leopards away, at a village in Ekeshwar block.(HT PHOTO)

Pauri Garhwal:

Villagers in Uttarakhand’s Pauri district–known for frequent human-animal conflicts–will learn European techniques to keep leopards away from their villages.

The Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India (WII) is carrying out field demonstrations on conflict mitigation measures like the ones practised in the European countries--to keep cougar and wolves at bay-- to deter leopards from straying into human habitations, said Dipanjan Naha, project associate at the WII.

The WII team on Saturday conducted a field demonstration called “flaudry technique” at a village in Ekeshwar, in which bright-colored ribbons are tied on stretched ropes, to scare leopards away, he said.

“The method will be carried out in a number of villages as part of the WII’s human-animal conflict mitigation project in Pauri-Garhwal region under the National Mission on Himalayan Studies.”

The WII is also collaborating with villagers and the state forest department to take up community-driven wildlife conservation programmes, Naha said.

The WII team along with forest department officials will also be carrying out sensitization programmes for school children, said Laxman Singh, divisional forest officer, Garhwal.

Recently, students from different schools were asked to participate in a programme on human-animal conflict where they were sensitized about the nature of attack by the big cats, since children are most vulnerable to leopard attacks, he said.

“Villagers have been told about the need to keep their surroundings clear of wild bushes, build indoor toilets and escort children and women when they venture out early in the morning or late in the evening when the big cats are on the prowl.”

Methods of conflicts mitigation have been discussed with forest villagers and posters on safety were distributed during the meeting, he said.

Field surveys by the WII have found Ekeshwar block in the district, to be the most vulnerable to man-leopard conflict.

More than 300 sqkm area in the block has been identified as highly vulnerable, the survey has found.

The high conflict region in the block has been divided into grids of 8 sqkm each, where camera traps have been installed to monitor leopard population other wildlife of the region.

Every year, 3 to 4 people are killed in leopard attacks and 11 to 13 injured in Pauri-Garhwal forest division, a survey has revealed.

Until now, more than 600 people have been killed and 3,100 injured in leopard attacks in the state since it was curved out of Uttar Pradesh in 2000.

First Published: Dec 10, 2017 21:15 IST