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New wildlife division comes up for conservation of elephants

 Pritesh Basu |  2016-03-31 00:56:06.0  |  Kolkata

New wildlife division comes up for conservation of elephants

A new wildlife division has been created to ensure that the elephants get their fodder in forest and do not disturb human habitat in search of food in Purulia, Bankura and West Midnapore. 

The new division has been named as Wildlife South Division and an officer of District Forest Officer (DFO) rank will head the division. Forest land including Bandwan and Duarsini in Purulia, Jhilimili in Bankura and Belpahari, Banspahari and Bhula Bheda in West Midnapore will be under the jurisdiction of the new division. 

According to an officer of the state forest department, the new division will start functioning from April 1. 

The DFO of the already existing Jhargram division will be getting the additional charge of the new division as the posting of new DFO is not possible at present due to the model code of conduct.

It may be recalled that there had been series of incidents in the recent past in which elephants ran amok in villages near the forest areas. 

The forest department official said the elephants come out of the forest when they didn’t get enough food and water. 

Moreover, it has come to the notice of the state forest department officials that tuskers from Mayurjharna Elephant Reserve started moving out due to lack of food. The elephant reserve is spread over 400 sq km in West Midnapore and Bankura. 

It was declared as a reserve in October 2002 and the number of elephants had gone up to around 100 in 2010. But now the elephants from the reserve move to Odisha and its adjoining areas destroying crops, valuables and killing people in villages. 

Thus, the forest officials expect that the creation of the new division will help to confine the elephants in forest areas and the reserve. 

The reason being initiatives will be taken for fodder plantation in the forest on routine basis so that the elephants do not need to enter nearby villages in search of food. 

At the same time steps will be taken to create habitat for the tuskers in the forest. Reservoirs to make water available round the year for elephants in the forest areas will also be created. 

“The main reason behind creating the wildlife division is for conservation of animals mainly elephants,” said an official of the state forest department. 

Herds of around 100 to 150 elephants from Dalma and Ayodhya hills pass in every season through the jhitka forrest that run 25 km starting from Lalgarh to Gope in Midnapore. 

The local people had demanded that the steps should be taken to bring up a “wild animal reserve forest”. 

For safety
  •   The new division has been named as Wildlife South Division and an officer of District Forest Officer (DFO) rank will head the division
  •   Forest land including Bandwan and Duarsini in Purulia, Jhilimili in Bankura and Belpahari, Banspahari and Bhula Bheda in West Midnapore will be under the jurisdiction of the new division
  •   The forest officials expect that the creation of the new division will help to confine the elephants in forest areas and the reserve

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