Peacocks, monkeys, toque macaques (“rilava”), grizzled giant squirrels (“dadu lena”), porcupines, and wild boars removed from the list of protected animals because they Consume Crops and Coconuts;Elephants remain Protected because they are a Tourist Attraction


BY Safrah Fazal

Peacocks, monkeys, toque macaques (“rilava”), grizzled giant squirrels (“dadu lena”), porcupines, and wild boars have been removed from the list of protected animals, and measures to control the population of these wild animals are being examined, considering the massive crop damage they are causing.

Speaking to The Morning yesterday (10), an official from the Ministry of Agriculture noted that elephants, peacocks, monkeys, toque macaques, grizzled giant squirrels, porcupines, and wild boars have been listed as the wild animals that caused the most significant crop damage.

“Since elephants attract local and foreign tourists, they will remain in the protected list of animals, while the otherd have been taken off the list.”

The official emphasised that with these five wild animals being taken off the list of protected animals, their population can be controlled, which will mitigate crop damage.

“It is because these animals were in the protected list that their population has multiplied, which has in turn caused significant crop damage amounting to millions of rupees. Taking these animals off the protected list does not however mean that they can be hunted or killed; it simply means that their population will be controlled. We will never permit the killing or hunting of these animals.”

Accordingly, the wildlife conservation authorities and other officials in the field have been requested to provide recommendations to control the population of these animals.

“In other countries, there are measures to control the population of animals to reduce crop damage, but in our country, we have not implemented any such measure thus far. We have asked the wildlife conservation authorities and other organisations to provide recommendations or proposals for these. There are new, scientific ways to control the population of animals.”

Speaking in Parliament yesterday, Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Amaraweera stated that a committee headed by the Secretaries of the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Resources Conservation had been appointed to look into the crop damage caused by wild animals.

“They handed me a report on 3 November, which is being reviewed. We will also present it to Parliament. It is true that there has been a lot of crop damage done by wild animals. As I remember, 121 million coconuts annually have been destroyed by these animals, as well as more than 8,000 metric tonnes of paddy. According to the recommendations provided by this committee, we will take measures to reduce the damage done by these wild animals. As of now, peacocks, monkeys, porcupines, grizzled giant squirrels, and wild boars have been removed from the protected list of animals.”


Courtesy:The Morning