Pilot programs to identify effective measures to reduce the Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC)

Pilot programs to identify effective measures to reduce the Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC)

Pilot programs to identify effective measures to reduce the Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC)

Context
In Bangladesh, Asian Elephant (Elephas maximus) roams in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), Chittagong, Cox’s Bazaar and Mymensingh districts. Worldwide the species is classified as engendered and is protected under the Wildlife (Conservation and Protection) Act 2012 of Bangladesh.

Habitat loss and fragmentation continue to be the primary reasons for the decline of Asian elephants in the world. Due to fragmentation of habitat, elephant ranges in Bangladesh have become confined to small patches. Some movement pathways between habitats have been totally abandoned due to degradation of forest cover, establishment of monoculture forests, extension of human settlements, intensification of agricultural practice, road construction, etc. Consequently, conflict between human and elephant is rising in the last two decades.

In light of increasing HEC in the country, a pilot programme has been taken in Chunati,  Banshkhali,  Khurusia, Rangunai, and  Dohazari areas to  find  out  feasible techniques to reduce HEC. The initiative is supported by an umbrella project titled “Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection (SRCWP)” Project, implemented by Bangladesh Forest Department with financial support from the World Bank (WB).

Objectives
The project started in December 2013 and will continue up to June 2016. During this period, the project will target to:
1) Generate nature, type, scale and habitat attributes of HEC prone areas;
2) Develop a participatory HEC mitigation management modality; and
3) Identify HEC mitigation options through piloting.

Key activities
1. Generate nature, type, scale and habitat attributes of HEC: Information on the frequency, distribution and severity of HEC incidents, the types of incident that occur,    determining   who, what   is affected and where and the elephants responsible - is the focus of data collection. For data collction a range of tools are to be used like population survey, HEC survey, vegetation survey and mapping using GIS tools.

2.  Develop a participatory HEC mitigation management modality: This activity entails a series of consultation meetings with communities to come up with agreed upon mitigation measures to be piloted, where to be implemented, what are the modalities for implementation, when and by whom.

3. Identify HEC mitigation options: Focus on carrying out the pilot activities as per agreed upon plan on the ground by the communities, through community participation, and identifies    best possible mitigation options. The tentative mitigation actions are – solar demonstration plots of elephant non-preferred crops, barriers like – electric fencing, bio-fencing, chili based olfactory repellent rope, chili smoke, early warning like watch tower, trip alarm, torch light. The mitigation options also include habitat improvement through plantation of palatable plant and establishment of salt licks.


For More Information
Nasim Aziz
Senior Programme Officer
IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)
House # 16, Road 2/3
Banani, Dhaka – 1213
Bangladesh.
Tel:   +8802-9890395; 9890423; ext – 114
Fax:  +8802-9892854

 

Deer are common in the Sundarbans.