The International Elephant Foundation is excited to announce our guest for October’s Conservation Chat: Dr. Naveen Pandey.

The elephant’s natural habitat in and around Kaziranga National Park (KNP) in the northeastern region of India is rapidly diminishing because of increased land clearing for cultivation and development. This area is home to two-thirds of the world’s one-horned rhinoceros, over a thousand Asian elephants, and a very dense tiger population.

Crop raiding by elephants peaks when rice paddy becomes more palatable and nourishing as it approaches harvesting. To improve on methods of crop guarding, 90 tongis, or look out towers, have been built for the protection of rice fields from elephants and other wildlife. The community was involved at the beginning determining the location of each tongi based on the movement of elephants and contributing labor and bamboo for construction. This ensured a sense of ownership of the project within the community connecting 379 families of farmers in the fringe villages of KNP.

After harvesting, the farmers reported that the tongis were very effective in deterring elephants and other crop-raiding species such as rhinos and wild buffaloes from their paddy fields. The harvest increased by 40% which was credited to better protection of the fields. It is hoped that the effectiveness of these tongis will reduce the farmers’ antagonistic attitude towards wild elephants with the long-term goal to enhance the conservation of all wildlife.

Conservation Chat

Dr. Pandey is the Deputy Director and Veterinary Advisor in Kaziranga, northeast India for The Corbett Foundation. A conservation practitioner and cultural ecologist, Dr. Pandey plans, executes and monitors projects on nature conservation and cultural ecology in six states in India. His projects on mitigating human-wildlife conflict, landscape epidemiology, ecological restoration, and social dimensions of conservation touch indigenous communities in distant landscapes. IEF has supported Dr. Pandey’s work supporting the fringe villages around Kaziranga National Park since 2020.

National Estate Planning Awareness Week
October 17-23

The week of October 17th is National Estate Planning Awareness Week. It is the perfect time to discuss the benefits of estate planning for you, your loved ones, and the causes you care about. Take this time to leave a legacy in your will for elephants, protecting them for years to come. In addition to wills there are many other ways to support elephants, including gifts of stock and directing your Donor Advised Funds. Giving in these ways can help with this year’s taxes while making a bigger impact protecting the elephants we love. We’re always here to help guide you through the process.

Visit the IEF Store

Protecting elephants helps all living things in the ecosystem. This graphic shows just some of the species who benefit from elephants’ protective umbrella. Get merchandise with this exclusive design at the IEF Store!

Sending Holiday Cards?

Consider sending your holiday cards with the Save Vanishing Species stamp this year. Also known as the Tiger Stamp, the Save Vanishing Species Stamp is a program supported by the United States Postal Service where funds raised through the sale of this stamp support international wildlife conservation and the Multinational Species Conservation Fund. Funds support African and Asian elephant conservation, as well as great apes, rhino and tiger, and marine mammals.