Northeast India (Karbi Anglong) Elephant Conservation Project

Elephant conservation in India has great significance as almost two third of all Asian Elephants are living in India. More than one third of these elephants are living in North East India. This is also the most biologically abundant area in India, therefore it is said that it is one of the most globally important area from the point of view of biodiversity conservation.

In this area, Brahmaputra River named for Brahman, a Creative God of Hinduism, runs the east-west area. In Kaziranga National Park located in the south side of a floodplain, grasslands with thick grasses called 'an elephant grass', shallow ponds in everywhere and evergreen forests are spreading like a mosaic, and the park had been a paradise for great diversity, mainly of the biggest size of animals in Asia such as Asian Elephant, Indian Rhino, Asian Buffalo and Royal Bengal tiger. Forests of North East Hills are spreading inthe south side of the park. Karbi Anglong Hills is located at the entrance of the North East Hills, and it will be an evacuation site for animals during a flood. The area is about 10,000 square kilometers, of which 8,000 square kilometers is forested.
Karbi Anglong Hills
Karbi Anglong Hills from Kaziranga (C) JTEF
a group of elephants
a group of elephants moved from Kaziranga National Park to Karbi Anblong Hills during a flood (C) WTI

Forests of the North East Hills reach to Intanki National Park located in south side of India and spread to further south to Dumpa Tiger Sanctuary and Blue Mountain National Park.

The followings are necessary as the first step of a long-term conservation measures for elephants and other wildlife
・Strengthening management of Wildlife Sanctuary and reserved forest outside of them to secure elephant habitat in Karbi Anglong Hills.

This requires an accurate geographical data of the Wildlife Sanctuaries and the reserved forest and the enhanced training and equipping for rangers of the Forest Department to conduct patrolling for poaching prevention and for necessary research.

・Finding out and implementing the effective measures with local residents and local governments for prevention of human-elephant conflicts such as crops damage and personal injury.

1 Training of patrolling skills and supply of necessary equipments
In the dense and vast forests, the rangers of Forest Department of Assam / Karbi Anglong (Autonomous Council) engage in controlling wildlife crime and also conduct fieldwork for scientific survey. They need training for improvement of their expertise. And the equipments should be supplied for their patrol works.
patrol by the rangers of Forests Department
participants of training workshop

2 Accurate measuring and mapping of the Wildlife Sanctuaries and the forest reserves with leading-edge technology
In Karbi Anglong, an accurate map of the Wildlife Sanctuaries and the reserved forests where logging is prohibited has not been prepared yet. Accurate mapping with the leading-edge technologies such as GPS (Global Positioning System) and GIS (Geographical Information System) are required. It will allow for localization of the habitats that are important for wildlife, marking out environmentally degraded areas, estimation of the population and, easy planning of the important patrol routes.

3 Status survey for the wildlife in the Wildlife Sanctuaries
The survey will be conducted for estimating the population of wildlife such as elephants in the main designated wildlife sanctuaries. s. While continuing the training, various surveys including camera trapping with an automatic camera, tracking surveys of footprints and dung and visual survey are conducted by walking along a fixed route.
elephant dung
elephant dung

4 Actions to reduce conflicts between elephants and people
Injuries to people and crops by elephants continue at the villages located on the border with forests. To encourage a community development with elephant conservation, the reduction of these conflicts and people's understanding are required. While promoting awareness, the survey of actual situation of the conflicts as setting up an electric fence and the effective actions will be taken and a system to work with the communities will be established especially in the severely damaged area.
electric fence
setting up of an electric fence
elephant appeared in tea plantation
elephant appeared in tea plantation

Wildlife Trust of India