Nima | Gelephu

Devices to detect animal intrusions that were installed last month have come in handy for farmers. They have helped control the intrusion of wild animals in critical areas.

The devices are animal intrusion detection and repellent systems (ANIDERS), and about 30 of them were installed in Shompangkha, Samtenling, and Gelephu gewog since October 20 this year.

The alert system produces sound and light when wild elephants intrude into the farms.

Farmers in the three gewogs lose acres of paddy field and areca nut trees to elephants every year.

Ashman Rai from Shompangkha said ANIDERS has been working against all wild animals during the night because of the lights and alarms.

“Even the movements of birds and other wild animals were detected at night,” he said. “We have installed four ANIDERS in critical areas. No cases of damage to crops have been reported so far.”

The alert systems were installed in areas where elephants enter farms, with a 30-metre gap between each ANIDERS.

Ashman Rai said they identified the most affected areas to install the alert systems. “They have proved effective so far.”

The chief forestry officer of the divisional forest office in Sarpang, Phub Dhendup, said ANIDERS was installed to supplement the existing mitigating measures, such as electric fencing.

“There were places where electric fences could not be installed, like in big riverbeds and huge openings. ANIDERS helps seal the entry points in such places,” he said.

According to Phub Dhendup, there has been a slight increase in human-wildlife conflicts over the years in Sarpang. “Farmers lose paddy crops to elephants at this time of the year. Elephants damage acres of paddies at night. We are supporting farmers with the alert system.”

Edited by Tashi Dema