While the human toll as a consequence of the militancy in Kashmir is well known, little is known about the wildlife plight in the valley. Army and paramilitary forces have set up camps in forests to target militants hiding in the area. Often, wildlife is target of the combat. With their natural habitat under human threat, the animals are sighted in villages bordering the forests, and there have been several reports of attacks by wildlife on villagers and vice-versa. The breaking down of this barrier (forest) between humans and animals causes harm to everyone. Not only does this add to the nightmare for villagers and their livestock (apart from the ongoing conflict between the two countries in the region) it also increases the list of endangered species in the area. I wonder if there ever will be a permanent solution to this conflict. My heart says yes, but my mind disagrees.
“There are several other factors also responsible for increasing incidents of conflict between wild animals and humans. These include shrinkage of habitat due to expanding human population, livestock and developmental activities, changes in the land-use pattern, decline in the natural prey base, climate change and urbanisation,” says Abdul Rouf Zargar, a wildlife warden.
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