Living with Elephants: Supporting Human-Elephant Coexistence along Jharkhand-Bengal-Orissa migratory corridor, India
In the human dominated landscape of West Bengal, the elephant population has increased by 61% in the last 5 years. By behavior, these elephants are subdivided into migratory, residential and Mayurjharna elephants which makes Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) mitigation challenging. This population is less than 18% of the state’s entire elephant population, but claims more than 54% of the damages. The elephants’ historic migratory routes are being destroyed due to timber poaching, conversion of forest lands to fields, and are often obstructed by illegal electric fences. This project develops awareness for elephants and their needs while building capacity to reduce HEC especially for corridor dependent villages. The ‘Anti-depredation Squad’ that secures the safe passage of elephants will also be strengthened and maps updated with elephant distribution and ‘conflict’ intensity zones for better conflict management and land-use planning.