Early warning system helps farmers keep jumbos at bay (State of Uttarakhand, India)
January 7, 2018
Jotirmay Thapliyal, Tribune News Service



DEHRADUN: While the man-elephant conflict stands as one of the biggest challenges before the Uttarakhand Government, technology, the Animal Intrusion Detection and Repellent System, popularly known as ANIDERS, has ultimately brought some relief to farmers.

Wild elephants raiding crops and even attacking humans are common, particularly in the villages. This has led to farmers abandoning farming. But the WWF-India has put the technology to use. It has introduced this system, a sort of early warning system, to help protect crops of farmers from getting vandalised by pachyderms.

To make a beginning, it had taken to Mankanthpur at Ramnagar, where a two-unit early warning system was introduced in January 2017, as a pilot project by the WWF-India. It brought relief to farmers. With the introduction of the system, a 100 per cent success rate has been reported in reducing elephant raids. The reported number of incidents in a year were as high as 30-40 (around 15-20 per crop season) which has now dropped down to 5 or 6.

The two units of the early warning system were placed around the farmlands to detect the presence of the animals within a 10 to 12 metre radius of the sensor. The system generates a spotlight at the intrusion spot and alarm through a hooter which effectively wards off wildlife.

The WWF-India is also evaluating the long-term efficacy of the system, by setting up camera traps to understand how well the system works. These traps have also resulted in fascinating footage regarding animal behaviour when faced with such systems and will contribute to the organisation’s understanding of how these systems should be designed and set up.

“Earlier, farmers were trying many ways of preventing elephant raids that included from lighting firecrackers to maintaining a watch in the fields through night, but none of these were effective. But now the Animal Intrusion Detection and Repellent System is proving to be very effective,” said Dr AK Singh, senior WWF-India official based in Uttarakhand. He apprised that after introduction of this early warning system, farmers have reported a major improvement in the harvest.

How it works

--The early warning system were placed around farmlands to detect the presence of animals within 10 to 12 metre radius of the sensor

--The system generates a spotlight at the intrusion spot and raised an alarm through a hooter which effectively wards off wildlife. The reported number of incidents in a year have come down from 30-40 to 5

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