Bhubaneswar, November 21 (LocalWire): The state forest department has decided to make extensive use of drones to keep a tab on elephant depredation in Angul forest division.
The initiative is aimed to reduce human causality due to attacks by the elephants in the region.
The Angul forest division is a major human-elephant confrontation zone in the State.
According to the forest and environment minister Bikram Keshari Arukha, the department has begun using the drones fitted with cameras to keep a round-the-clock vigil on the elephants’ intrusion into places of human habitations.
“The drones are being used for aerial monitoring of the movement of the elephant herd. It has proved to be an effective tool in arresting the frequency of elephant depredation,” the minister stated before the state Assembly.
The department is also using drones to track the migration path of elephants, including the national highways that they often cross while traversing through the villages in the district.
“The drone experiment has proved to be a success so far. The forest officials have been able to block the elephants from intruding into human habitations to a great extent due to the aerial monitoring using drones,” a forest official said.
Besides, skilled elephant squad armed with GPS instruments have also been pressed into service to track the migrating of jumbos and a 24X7 control room is also in operation to check elephant depredation, the official stated.
Angul forest division comes under the administrative jurisdiction of the Mahanadi Elephant Reserve.
Odisha with 1,976 elephants stands at number five in the list of states with a high elephant population in the country.
While Karnataka has the highest number of 6,049 elephants, Assam has 5,719, Kerala has 3,054, and Tamil Nadu has 2,761 elephants.