Bright scarecrows to scare wild elephants | News from Kozhikode

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Kozhikode: Can scarecrows keep mighty marauding elephants from entering farm fields? Farmers from Vadakkanad to Wayanad, along with officials from the MSSRF Agro-Biodiversity Community Center (MSSRF CABC), are now placing their hopes in the age-old craft by deploying them with LED lights and bioacoustic devices to ward off animals. savages who plunder crops.
As part of the pilot project implemented at Vadakkanad at Noolpuzha panchayat with the help of Nabard, 28 LED lights were installed on 8-foot-high GI pipes, at a distance of 40 feet, along the edges of the river. forest in the first phase of the project a month ago. Now 56 humanoid scarecrows are installed between these LED lights.
“The flickering LED lights would be on at nightfall and with the light falling on the scarecrows, it would create the illusion of the jumbos and other wildlife that people are on guard and prevent entry into the fields,” said Vadakkanad Neerthada Vikasana Samiti chairman KT Kuriakose. MSSRF CABC is the implementing agency of the project funded by Nabard.
The pilot project is modeled on an initiative successfully implemented in Odisha a month ago. Kuriakose said the scarecrows were made from hay, dried bamboo leaves and fabric. In addition, fluorescent markings are made on the scarecrows to give a luminous effect during the night. “In the third phase, we will also install devices that will emit sounds of predatory animals like tigers. Using gear such as LED lights, scarecrows and reading predator sounds should be successful in warding off crop-raiding animals, ”he said.
The neighborhoods of Vadakkanad, Karipoor and Valluvadi are surrounded by forests under the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary (WWS) on all sides and farmers have to put up with the wildlife plundering the crops all year round.
According to farmers, after the lights were installed a month ago, small herbivores like deer and wild boar have not come to their fields. But, there has been one case of elephant wandering, but the farmers hope that with the subsequent deployment of scarecrows and acoustic devices, they will help keep the jumbos at bay to a large extent.
“We don’t think the project would offer 100% protection, as wild animals adapt to various forms of deterrent devices. But we hope that the method, which uses three types of deterrents, will give us some relief. It has the advantage of being profitable because we installed them at a cost of Rs 1.17 lakh per km, against Rs 1.5 crore for the rail fence and Rs 49 lakh for the protective rope fences ”, a he added.


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