Organizing a workshop for stakeholders on reducing elephant casualties along the Siliguri-Alipur Duar railway line, India
The concept for this workshop resulted from the recently concluded IEF-funded study “A Survey of elephant corridors/traditional elephant movement paths across railway tracks in northern West Bengal, India, to address the conservation issue of avoidable elephant deaths in train accidents”. The study identified specific locations along the railway line where elephant casualties are frequent and severe. The railway system spans the entire country of India and is the fourth largest in the world while serving millions of people and the daily movement of goods. The impact on wildlife, its movement and habitat is widespread, but is particularly severe along the Siliguri-Alipur Duar segment and to a lesser extent along railway lines in Uttarakhand (particularly that portion that traverses Rajaji National Park) and Assam. This workshop will invite representatives of these three railway zones, the Ministry of Railways, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change of the Government of India, and various prominent and experienced elephant conservationists and organizations to discuss issues and solutions to collisions between trains and wildlife.