|Town/Region||Mayurjharna Elephant Reserve|
|Date||29 Nov 2011|
Asian Elephant, ‘National Heritage Animal’ and Endangered (EN A1cd) in RDB-IUCN, used to take shelters in Mayurjharna Elephant Reserve (henceforth MER). MER is the only elephant reserve in West Bengal for Eastern India Elephants population with 118+ elephants. As Elephant Reserves are not designated as ‘Protected Area’ as per ‘Wildlife (Protection) Act, India’, thus the management of these reserves is quite harder and the MER elephants are now expanding their home range beyond the reserve area (414.06sq.km.) and declared influence zone (1436sq.km) to meet their needs. Thus the adjacent areas are becoming more and more Human-Elephant Conflict prone zone. We intend to do elaborative research, capacity building and conservation education programme to minimise the human-elephant conflict in entire home range. We intend to do a review of extended home range to include new area in ‘Zone of Influence’ as the declared ‘Zone of Influence’ was determined in 2002. Assessing the need (in RSG I & II), we are going to form an ‘Elephant Reserve Research Station’ to do more intensified research and community education programme to reduce the intensity of conflict . The research station will to do studies, maintain databases and work as a resource agency.
The proposed project will do population enumeration of migratory and residential elephants and record their migration route/range, conflict status etc. through GPS to develop a map. These elephant distribution/ conflict zone maps will help to develop mitigation techniques, forealarm system and the elephant movement calendar will help to identify the safe period of cultivation. The villagers will also get opportunity to develop alternate livelihood to minimise forest resource dependency. The most vital part of the proposed project is the yearlong Conservation Education programme and Community Capacity Building programme through film show, slide-illustrated talk etc. and workshops. The project is going to make a short duration documentary film on Eastern India Elephant population in West Bengal as tool for conservation education. We feel that these intensive programmes will help the villagers to learn about the mitigation technique of Human-Elephant Conflict.
The proposed project will establish a network between stakeholders and government agencies to strengthen the elephant conservation. A network with all interested parties, NGOs, institutions and government departments will help to continue the project with public participation. Apart from the regular awareness materials, the project report with recommendation will send to concerned authorities for proper action.
Read about Samya's previous grant http://www.ruffordsmallgrants.org/rsg/projects/samya_basu_0 or for more information contact: