Project Description

Offsetting Losses, Increasing Tolerance: Conserving Asian elephants in a Human-Use Landscape, India

Elephants in West Bengal, India live in a mosaic of forests, tea plantations, and agricultural fields. This fractured habitat leads to frequent negative interactions with humans, including crop loss, property damage, and even human casualties. The return of migrant workers due to the
pandemic has created an increased local dependence on agriculture, but also intentional killings of elephants including through deliberate electrocution. This project will develop low-cost collapsible fences that will deter elephants from human settlements and farms without harming
them. This pilot project will take place in two villages where local landowners will be trained on installation and maintenance of the fences thereby creating community ownership and investment. These villages will serve as models that can be scaled up to other communities, helping to protect both humans and elephants for peaceful coexistence.