BHUBANESWAR: Climate change, among a host of other factors, is driving elephants from their core habitats to non-forest areas in eastern Indian states.
Prof Sukumar, who was here to attend the expert committee of Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on man-elephant conflict, said the elephants have found better foraging options outside their core forest habitats which is sending them from one state to another.
“The greenery outside the forest areas, social forestry and crop cultivation have appeared lucrative to these intelligent and adaptive animals. This has led to the changes in movement pattern and distribution of elephants in the Central India landscapes,” the NBWL member said.
Prof Sukumar likens it to a “super-market” pattern. “The habitats outside the forests are like a supermarket for the elephants where they have a variety of options. This could be responsible for their change in behaviour,” he said.
Adding to the problems are linear infrastructure projects like irrigation, mining and rapid industrial projects have constricted the movement of elephants.
He also called for stronger measures like translocation as well as population control, if the need arises. “One can not rule out measures such as capture of elephants for population control measures. Similarly, translocation of jumbos can also be considered,” he said.