• Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

Elephant Conservation Network members trained by Aaranyak

Members of Elephant Conservation Network (ECN) set up by Aaranyak play a key role in mitigation of the intensity of human-elephant conflict (HEC) by helping the affected community in various ways especially by raising early alarm over the presence wild elephants close to human settlements and crop areas.

Research-driven biodiversity conservation non-profit, Aaranyak has initiated an effort for training members of ECN networks active in various HEC affected areas. As part of the initiative the training for the first batch of ECN members was organised at Amtola LP School in Goalpara district of Assam on Monday (July 24). This particular ECN was formed by Aaranyak on March 26 last year (2022).

Twenty-three ECN members attended this day-long training that was conducted by Aaranyak resource persons Anjan Baruah and Nipul Chakma.

Anjan Baruah enlightened the participants in the training programme in detail about Asian elephants, elephant ecology, behaviour and movements of elephants. He also highlighted causes of human elephant conflict in regional as well as local perspective, conflict management strategy adopted by Aaranyak, various conflict mitigation measures and ways to coexist with elephants.

He explained about various zones—Safe zone, Alert zone and Critical zone — surrounding a herd or a wild elephant that human beings should know for coexistence.

Other resource person Nipul Chakma spoke about loss of life, crop and property damage caused due to HEC and the procedure for claiming compensation from the government as per the norms in vogue against such damages.

Benchmarking and assessment of local community was also carried out during the training through which ECN members’ knowledge on elephant were assessed. The benchmarking process helped participating ECN members gain enough knowledge about Asian elephants and their behaviour so that they can help the community to coexist with wild elephants.

The training was followed by a feedback session for gathering feedback from the people present. Participating ECN members in the training which was supported by US Fish and Wildlife Service, were gifted with elephant conservation themed T-shirts.

Aaranyak’s staff Ripunjoy Nath started the proceedings with a welcome address. Another staff Rupam Goyari assisted in overall activity and organisation of the workshop.

It may be mentioned that ECN members assist Aaranyak in monitoring and recording various HEC incidents such as crop damage, property damage, deaths of human beings and elephant deaths. These data are important for formulate dynamic scientific mitigation strategies by Aaranyak. The ECN also acts as early warning system about close proximity of wild elephants so as to facilitate coexistence.


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