The Asian Elephant, Elephas maximus, has been facing severe threats in North East India, specially in Assam with its habitat being encroached and increasing poaching of tusker for ivory and elephant as a whole for flesh mainly in Assam-Meghalaya and Assam-Nagaland border. Fragmentation and degradation of its habitat has led the elephant herd to spend their time in tea gardens and other non-protected areas where they are more prone of being attacked by miscreants. The current elephant population in Assam is about 5200.
Aaranyak has already completed several pilot level projects on Status and distribution and Human Elephant Conflict Problem in Assam. With the support from the Asian Elephant Conservation Fund of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Aaranyak has completed an elephant conservation orientation in Sonitpur and Darrang district of Assam during 2002-03. The project was launched after mass poisoning of wild elephant that took place in parts of Sonitpur district during 2001-02. Under this project number of conservation education programme was launched in the two districts of northern Assam. The project activities were done in close coordination with the forest offices and office of the Deputy Commissioner of the two districts. Crop damage estimated has also been done based on available data gathered from various government agencies and field estimates done by own researchers of Aaranyak in 2003-03.
In 2003-04, Aaranyak initiated Elephant Conservation Awareness Project (ECAP) in Assam to sensitize the mass people regarding the threats posed to elephants and need for concerted effort to save the elephants. Awareness materials were prepared with support from the Chester Zoo and Peoples Trust for Endangered Species (PTES) of UK. With support from the PTES, researchers at Aaranyak could complete an intense mapping of elephant corridor in and around Goalpara.
This project also looking at initiating diversified livelihood opportunities for the communities affected by the human-elephant conflict. The project also assists the forest department in the district to reduce human-elephant conflict and to create an environment among the people to live in harmony with elephants. This project is being supported by the US Fish and Wildlife Service. Current focus of this project is to restore forest habitat part by part with Golaghat district through a plantation of key species in the forest areas that enhances the elephant habitat.
A project on elephant research and conservation was initiated in October 2005 in Manas National Park (MNP) within Chirang-Ripu elephant reserve to minimize the gap of scientific data on elephants and human-elephant conflict for proper management and conservation in near future.
The first phase (2005-06) of the project was named as “A study of habitat utilization patterns of Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) and current status of human elephant conflict in Manas National park within Chirang-Ripu Elephant Reserve, Assam” that has already been successfully completed
Save elephant by empowering community (SEEC) - an initiative in the eastern part of Chirang Ripu Elephant Reserve
The proposed project “Save elephant by empowering community (SEEC) - an initiative in the eastern part of Chirang Ripu Elephant Reserve” have been implemented in Chirang Ripu Elephant Reserve of Bodoland Territorial Council located in the foothills of Himalayas. Read More...
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