Electric fence to reduce human-wildlife encounters
CHITWAN, Oct 19: Two community forests in the district have been girded with electric fence to reduce clashes between humans and wildlife and keep wild animals from wandering into nearby crops fields. This is the first time any community forest in Nepal has installed electric fence with a view to protect wildlife by restricting their contacts with humans.
The District Forest Office approved the decision of setting up the electric barrier in two community forests in eastern part of the district in the wake of increasing complaints about wild animals attacking people and destroying crops in neighboring farmlands.
According to the officials of the Mangalpur VDC in which Setidevi and Siddi Ganesh Community Forests are located, they were forced to place the electric barrier around the forests as the incidences of wild animals destroying paddy and other crops ready for harvest became more frequent.
Chairman of Setidevi Community Forest Deepak Adhikari said that the wires fencing the forests will have solar generated current which will not cause any injury to animals but will work to scare them away.
Usually, elephants, rhinoceros and deer enter the human settlement during winter in the search of food.
According to secretary of Siddi Ganesh Community Forest, Suryahari Marhatta, the electric fence was necessary as the wild animals not only destroy crops but also sometimes attack people fatally.
The electric fence encloses the 800 hectares of the two community forests. While the community forests spent 50,000 each, the National Trust for Nature Conservation provided 300,000 for the fencing.
Inaugurating the electric fence, District Forest Officer Indra Prasad Sapkota said that the electric barriers would help in reducing human-wildlife conflict and potential harm to both sides.
Sapkota clarified that the fences will not jeopardize the safety of the wildlife as they don´t carry high voltage electricity.
He also said that the electric fencing was necessary as the government has remained unwilling to provide compensation to farmers whose crops are destroyed by wild animals.