Project Description

Mobilizing Community Forest User Groups for the Elephant Habitat Restoration

Nepal
Before 1994, only 2 elephants were observed in Bardia National Park (BNP). Now, it is a major
habitat for wild elephants with approximately 120 individuals in residence. The forest patches
surrounding the park are known as Buffer Zone Community Forests (BZCF) and provide basic
forest products for the local communities. Often the communities are more focused on
extraction of forest resources than conservation or sustainability. This attitude coupled with
fires, high grazing pressure, and invasion of unwanted species causes habitat degradation.
Members of the Buffer Zone Community Forest User Groups (BZCFUGs) will be mobilized for
the restoration of approximately 2700 hectares of degraded forest habitat in the corridors most
frequently used by elephants. These actions will decrease the likelihood of fragmentation and
increase habitat health with the intention of reducing future human-elephant conflict.