A simple user-friendly mobile phone system has helped villagers near two Indian national parks report crop and livestock damages to authorities and receive appropriate compensation. Such damages can lead to retaliatory killing ofanimals, whereas compensation can help foster tolerance of wildlife even in densely populated regions. The mobile technology used by the Wild Seve project speeds the compensation processes using a toll-free hotline that records the victim’s voice message with details of the incident and routes it to a field coordinator, who sends local trained responders to meet with the complainant within 24 hours. Watching a majestic tiger, elephant or leopard in the wilderness of Bandipur or Nagarhole National Park, is dream come true for many. Nestled on the foothills of southern India’s Western Ghats, one of the 35 global biodiversity hotspots, these protected forests are treasure troves of wildlife. But for 36-year-old Swamy Pappanna, these wild animals are reasons to panic, rather than cheer. A traditional farmer, his native village Kundkere lies two kilometers from Bandipur National Park. There, he owns about 1.9 hectares (4.7 acres) of land and grows bananas, onions, potatoes, sugarcane, millet, and groundnuts for a living. However, wild elephant herds have marauded his crops […]

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