Wildlife conservation – The Kashmir Monitor
Every year, Wildlife Week is celebrated across India from October 2-8 with the aim of protecting and preserving the flora and fauna of India. The first Wildlife Week was observed in 1957. Wildlife Week 2021 is celebrated from October 2-8, 2021. Wildlife Week 2021 marks the 67th Wildlife Week which is celebrated under the theme Forests and livelihoods: supporting people and the planet. During this week, experts are holding workshops to educate people on the importance of wildlife conservation. In addition to this, several awareness activities are organized at different levels to educate people about wildlife. Last week, Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha also inaugurated Wildlife Week-2021 at SKICC in Srinagar. The lieutenant governor also inaugurated the online entry authorization for Dachigam National Park and the Hangul ecological stop near Parimahal. He also published the Hangul census report and brochures on trekking routes. The LG said that J & K’s wildlife has rich and rare assets in the form of its flora and fauna, biodiversity and wildlife sanctuaries, and the government is paying special attention to the conservation and protection of invaluable natural resources. The role played by wildlife in maintaining the ecological balance of nature is undeniable. Any damage to nature can pose a threat to the entire ecosystem. Thus, it is very important to preserve flora and fauna. Animals and plants that live in the wild have intrinsic value and contribute to ecological, genetic, social, economic, scientific, educational, cultural, recreational and aesthetic aspects of human well-being and sustainable development. World Wildlife Day is an opportunity to celebrate the many beautiful and diverse forms of wild flora and fauna and to raise awareness of the multitude of benefits that their conservation provides to people. At the same time, the Day reminds us of the urgent need to step up the fight against wildlife crime and human-induced species reduction, which have far-reaching economic, environmental and social impacts. In Kashmir, the biggest problem right now has been human-animal conflict. It was not a pleasant season for Wildlife Front Line workers and animal rescue teams, as incidents of human-animal conflict kept them going. Deforestation and the unplanned expansion of residential and commercial buildings have reduced the natural habitat of these wild animals. As humans trampled and occupied their spaces, it is only natural that more and more incidents of human-animal conflict occur. Official data shows that at least 33 people have lost their lives in various incidents of human-wildlife conflict over the past four years across Kashmir. Likewise, 498 people have been injured in the past four years in the region. Human-wildlife conflict refers to an interaction between wildlife and humans and the resulting negative impact on humans or their resources, or wildlife or their habitat. Human-wildlife conflict occurs when the needs of wildlife overlap with those of human populations, creating costs for both residents and wildlife. In recent times, the valley has seen a peak of such incidents. According to wildlife experts, there are many reasons contributing to human-animal conflict. One of them being the change in agricultural land use over the years in rural and semi-urban areas from traditional crops (paddy) to cash crops (fruits, mainly apples). This attracts bears who get good quality food and large quantities from an orchard, rather than the forest. A study titled Victims of Human-Wildlife Conflict in the Kashmir Valley, India; a neglected form of trauma: our 10-year study reveals that in human-animal conflicts, the bear was the animal most often responsible for the human-animal conflict, followed by the leopard.