Development of Elephant Conservation Response Units, Myanmar
Based on IEF’s successful Sumatran Elephant Conservation Response Unit (CRU) project, the Emergency Elephant Response Units (EERUs) in Myanmar are working to prevent human-elephant conflict and protect wild elephant populations. The CRU model utilizes captive elephants and their mahouts for direct field-based conservation interventions to support the conservation of wild elephants and their habitat and achieve positive outcomes for both elephants and people. These EERUs: 1) mitigate human-elephant conflict; 2) reduce wildlife crime through forest patrol and monitoring; and 3) raise awareness among local people of the importance of conserving elephants and their habitat. Since their implementation, the EERUs have been instrumental in catching and stopping poachers in the region, serving as one effective way to combat the increased international demand for elephant parts.