Assessment of Human-Elephant Conflict in the Patharia Hills Reserve Forest of Assam, India
Human-Elephant Conflict refers to the negative interaction between man and elephants for the common food and space. It has increased in the recent past due to the conversion of forest land into agriculture, settlements, and developmental purposes. The aim of the study was to quantify the human-elephant conflict in the Patharia Hills Reserve Forest, southern Assam. Systematic data were collected from the field survey from 2015 to 2019. The study reveals that conflict incidences in the study area were seasonal and reach its peak at the time of crop maturity. A total of 1306 conflict incidents were reported during the study. The average affected cropland size of each farmer was found to be 0.52ha. Among the affected villages, 17.39% villages suffered of less number (1–10) of conflict incidence, with 52.17% villages suffered moderate (11–50 nos.) incidences, while 13.04% villages suffered severe (51–100 nos.) incidences, and 17.40% villages had very severe (<101 nos.) of human-elephant conflict incidences. In total, 10 villages out of 23 villages were identified as conflict-prone, where long-term management practices can be adopted in order to reduce human-elephant conflict. The process of giving compensation that is in practice was found to be very slow. This requires to be made to get faster for reducing animosity against elephant conservation.
Keywords - Human-Elephant Conflict, Agriculture, Settlements, and Developmental Purposes.