The monkey menace is not under control

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Even as the hill state of Himachal Pradesh in India is witness to a decline in the number of monkeys over last decade, the monkey menace is still not under control.

Holding this, the wildlife experts at a workshop held earlier this week by wildlife wing of the Himachal forest department brought home the point that human-monkey conflict is a multi-dimensional problem and the solution lies in multi-pronged strategy. “A holistic approach is required to solve the problem,” they said.

Experts from National Institute of advance Studies Bangaluru, Humane Society International Mysuru also gave the presentation on the behaviour of monkeys, the conflict problem and its solution.

They were of the view that translocation of monkeys was not the solution as this only shifts problem from one area to another. They said apart from management of population, the conflict management is also required.

“Fruit bearing species are required to be planted in the forests. The human habitat is also spreading and is reaching the forests, which is also required to be checked,” they said.

Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Wild Life, RC Kang detailed that the problem of monkeys is divided into two parts- In the urban area there are issues of animal attack on people, garbage disposal, religious and tourism angle, while in rural areas, the problem is with monkeys destroying crops.
He said the civic bodies need to rethink on the garbage disposal garbage disposal in cities.

Additional Chief Secretary, Forests, Tarun Kapoor was of the opinion that the department has done good work on sterilisation of monkeys and had it not been so, the monkey population in HP would have touched six lakhs.

“However, we will have to look into the behavioural changes in the monkeys after such interventions,” he said, asking the wild life officials not to stop experimenting.

Forest minister, Govind Singh Thakur agreed that the problem is still there and asked each Divisional Forest Officer (DFO) be fixed to capture the monkeys for sterilization in time bound manner so that the effect be visible in the field. He asked the foresters to think out off box solution.

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