Monkeys, along with Grey langurs and bonnet macaques, have adapted to urban habitats over the years.Out of the nearly 225 living species of non-human primates, these three species have adapted to the urban way of life.
In case of other animals, India does not lack protected areas, but the very idea of a protected area appears skewed. The protected areas were historically meant to be the breeding grounds for animals raised in the wild for the purpose of hunting.This space is not enough to have a full-fledged habitat for wild animals.
A territorial animal like a male tiger needs an area of 60-100 sq km. But the area allocated to an entire tiger reserve, like the Bor Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra, is 138.12 sq km. This is barely enough for one or two tigers.
The elephants need to travel at least 10-20 km a day. If a herd is restricted to an area of about 100 sq km, they are bound to move out in search of food and water. Elephants are used to travelling long distances, most of which fall outside the protected areas.
The condition of the existing protected areas is not very good, either. Wildlife experts claim that territorial animals do not have enough space within reserves and their prey do not have enough fodder to thrive on. This is forcing the wild animals to move out and venture close to human habitation in search of food.
The population of monkeys has multiplied after their natural habitat was destroyed because of their ability to adapt to new habitats. In forests, a Rhesus macaque has to spend about 10 to 14 hours in search of food. However, if we look at the street-dwelling urban monkeys or even those living dangerously close to human settlements in a rural setting, finding food takes only 10 minutes.When there is food in abundance, monkeys spend more time procreating.
A primary reason for the increasing human-animal conflicts is the presence of a large number of animals and birds outside the notified protected areas. Wildlife experts estimate that 29 per cent of the tigers in India are outside the protected areas. “If we take their number to be 2,200, the tigers outside the protected areas are about 640. This is almost twice the number of tigers found in Russia.
Government action may fail to yield results
Another reason why animals move to new geographical areas is the government’s practice of translocating monkeys from the cities to forest areas near rural areas. Residents of Chaukha village, which is at an altitude of 2,072 metres above sea level, say monkeys were brought to the forests from Shimla and Mandi. Monkeys are never found at such high altitudes. But the government forcefully dumped the animals in our forests.
Even Delhi’s attempt to translocate monkeys has backfired. In 2007, the state wildlife department captured over 19,000 monkeys to translocate them to a wildlife sanctuary created at Asola Bhatti mines on the outskirts of the city. While New Delhi breathed a temporary sigh of relief by the move, the residents of Sanjay Colony near the sanctuary struggled. The illegal colony of the Od community, who for three decades mined Bhatti area of the Aravalli hills, registered an alarmingly high number of attacks by monkeys who would escape the sanctuary.
State governments have tried various strategies so far—from culling and sterilisation drives to awareness campaigns not to feed monkeys. In Himachal Pradesh, the sterilisation rate at the centres has been poor. On an average, each camp has the capacity to sterilise 45 monkeys every day. This adds up to 54,000 sterilisations every year or 430,000 sterilisations in the past eight years. But just 96,500 monkeys have been sterilised since 2007.
Wildlife experts warn that if wildlife protection is confined to reserves and parks alone, several species will stand at the brink of extinction. This is best exemplified by the Great Indian Bustard, which is a Schedule-I animal. Despite having sanctuaries to itself, the bird has been driven to the brink of extinction. Various bustard sanctuaries had sizeable population once upon a time. But as of March 2015, there are an estimated 169 birds left. The problem is how do you restrict a bird? They fly out of the protected areas and are then hunted for their meat.
Darknet, also known as dark web or darknet market, refers to the part of the internet that is not indexed or accessible through traditional search engines. It is a network of private and encrypted websites that cannot be accessed through regular web browsers and requires special software and configuration to access.
The darknet is often associated with illegal activities such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services, although not all sites on the darknet are illegal.
Examples of darknet markets include Silk Road, AlphaBay, and Dream Market, which were all shut down by law enforcement agencies in recent years.
These marketplaces operate similarly to e-commerce websites, with vendors selling various illegal goods and services, such as drugs, counterfeit documents, and hacking tools, and buyers paying with cryptocurrency for their purchases.
Anonymity: Darknet allows users to communicate and transact with each other anonymously. Users can maintain their privacy and avoid being tracked by law enforcement agencies or other entities.
Access to Information: The darknet provides access to information and resources that may be otherwise unavailable or censored on the regular internet. This can include political or sensitive information that is not allowed to be disseminated through other channels.
Freedom of Speech: The darknet can be a platform for free speech, as users are able to express their opinions and ideas without fear of censorship or retribution.
Secure Communication: Darknet sites are encrypted, which means that communication between users is secure and cannot be intercepted by third parties.
Illegal Activities: Many darknet sites are associated with illegal activities, such as drug trafficking, weapon sales, and hacking services. Such activities can attract criminals and expose users to serious legal risks.
Scams: The darknet is a hotbed for scams, with many fake vendors and websites that aim to steal users’ personal information and cryptocurrency. The lack of regulation and oversight on the darknet means that users must be cautious when conducting transactions.
Security Risks: The use of the darknet can expose users to malware and other security risks, as many sites are not properly secured or monitored. Users may also be vulnerable to hacking or phishing attacks.
Stigma: The association of the darknet with illegal activities has created a stigma that may deter some users from using it for legitimate purposes.
AI, or artificial intelligence, refers to the development of computer systems that can perform tasks that would normally require human intelligence, such as recognizing speech, making decisions, and understanding natural language.
Virtual assistants: Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are examples of virtual assistants that use natural language processing to understand and respond to users’ queries.
Recommendation systems: Companies like Netflix and Amazon use AI to recommend movies and products to their users based on their browsing and purchase history.
Efficiency: AI systems can work continuously without getting tired or making errors, which can save time and resources.
Personalization: AI can help provide personalized recommendations and experiences for users.
Automation: AI can automate repetitive and tedious tasks, freeing up time for humans to focus on more complex tasks.
Job loss: AI has the potential to automate jobs previously performed by humans, leading to job loss and economic disruption.
Bias: AI systems can be biased due to the data they are trained on, leading to unfair or discriminatory outcomes.
Safety and privacy concerns: AI systems can pose safety risks if they malfunction or are used maliciously, and can also raise privacy concerns if they collect and use personal data without consent.