Skip to content Skip to navigation

Mass support for Elephants on the Line

Elephants on the Line (EOL), a programme to reduce man-animal conflict along Indo-Bhutan in Assam, is showing results. Casualities on both sides came down to 90 percent with measures by EOL with the help of community, local administration, forest department, All Bodo Stuedents Union, Adivasi Students Union, local NGOs and various tea gardens in Udalguri district, said Jayanta Kumar Das, coordinator of the programme.  Udalguri district reports the highest HEC- related human and elephant death rates for the Bhutan-Indian transboundary elephant population, as well as the highest recent HEC death rates in Assam and India as a whole. Media and local forest department reported death of 13 people in 2012, 19 in 2013 and 22 in 2014 as against number of elephants death as 8 , 10 and 7 respectively. Elephants on the Line (EOL) is a program which serves as a guide for significant community-based conservation projects involving education, training, HEC prevention as short term goals while afforestation, fringe population welfare, creation of elephant refuges with water, fodder and shelter and other goals like reinstating corridors for safe elephant movements remain some of the long term initiatives, said conservation activist Mubina Akhtar.

Escalating man-elephant conflict continue to take a heavy toll on the pachyderm. At the root of the conflict lies rampant deforestation and large scale organised encroachment that drastically eroded and degraded elephant habitats. For the globally endengered Asian elephant, the Bhutan-India transboundary area holds specially significance, as it provides refuge to nearly 10% of the species' world population including 40% of India's remaining elephant population.

Elephants on the Line, a programme involving three countries---India, Bhutan and the United States is headed by Lisa Mills, North Carolina State University. The programme has a number of experts including-- Dr. Ellen Cheng, Heidi Riddle, Mamtha Satyanarayan, Jayanta Kumar Das, Mubina Akhtar, Dr KK Sarma, Sonam Wangdi from the three sides. Funded by the US Fish and Wildlife Service this community based programme is aimed basically to reduce the loss of human and elephant lives and the primary target area for the program is the region encompassing Udalguri district (in Assam, India) and southern Bhutan border areas. 

More than one hundred vounteers cum activists led by Rajen Boro, Anshuma Basumatary, Shubbit Chawra are working round-the-clock along Bhutan- Assam border propagating "dos and don'ts" among people, said Dipen Boro of the All Bodo Students' Union who happens to be a core member of the programme.

Elephants are attracted by the smell of brew that are locally made by villagers and tea garden communities. The pachyderm often break houses attracted by the smell.  EOl's advise not to prepare brew or store inside houses paid off.   The fringe communities of Nonoi and other forest reserves are strictly adhering to the EOL guidelines like not to construct any structure on traditional elephant migration routes, not to enter the forest where there are elephants present to collect firewood or fodder during the early morning and late afternoon, not to try to drive wild elephants alone, not to go out of their houses alone and without a torchlight at night etc. Further, EOL advises villagers to stay away from a bull in musth. They are dangerous and can charge from a distance, mother with baby can attack fearing harm etc. EOL also appeal to communities not to tease wild elephants by pelting stones or throwing torchlight beam etc.

Recently, the forest department and tea garden authorities have agreed to create forests agreeing to a proposal by EOL in the area as an elephant . It is to be noted that hundreds of hectares of forest was cleared in the last two decades by encroachers and timber traders.

 

Author info

Chandan Kumar Duarah's picture

The writer is a former Robert Bosch Fellow, an environmentalist and Guwahati based journalist.

Comments

Sergeant Bikash's picture

Wheres USA grant for Asian Wild elephant for 24 months at 10,000 $ pm *24 months= 2,40,000 US$ perished from Udalguri? How this money came bypassing Govt Foreign fund policy & without bank account? The grant ceased for failure to submit audit report. Physically nothing has been done. Who are culprit? This Jayanta Kr Das is a fake wild life activist. He himself is a trafficker, Known to fell big trees for making quick money. Hope justice will be done. The amount in more than ₹15 crores!

Pages

Add new comment

Random Stories

WWF-AAPSO launches volunteers’ programme

26 Jan 2017 - 9:15pm | Syed Miraz Ahmed
WWF-India AAPSO Thursday launched its much-awaited volunteer programme, WWF Volunteers at Sudmersen Hall, Cotton College aimed at inspiring individuals and organizations to take positive conservation...

NAPM opposes the Indo-US Nuclear deal

30 Jun 2008 - 7:07pm | bobbyramakant
NAPM demands immediate closure of the Counter-Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School at Vairengte in Mizoram Amidst protests against price rises of essential items throughout the country, the Prime...

Normalcy back to BTAD: Gogoi

1 Aug 2012 - 9:31pm | editor
Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi claimed to have improved the situation in the BTAD areas forcing the refugees to gradually leave the camps. Talking to reporters on Wednesday, Gogoi said that...

ULFA sticks to independence gun

7 Apr 2017 - 5:48pm | AT News
The United Liberation Front of Asom observed its foundation day on Friday reiterating its struggle for an independent Assam compelling authorities to tighten security across the state. ULFA cadres...

Other Contents by Author

The recent tremor that rattled Tibet is to be blamed for the change of colour of the river Brahmaputra water if the Chinese experts are to be believed. Writes Chandan Kumar Duarah.  The change of colour in the waters of the Brahmaputra runs in to a hail speculations in Assam which have reached New Delhi to be in touch with Beijing. Many theories seem to have surfaced beneath the entire scheme of things. But there is no conclusion.  The recent tremor  in Tibet, may be the prime cause of muddy water flowing through the Brahmaputra. Yang Yong, a geologist and Yarlung Zangbo (known as in China) expert  revealed that muddy water might highly be caused by the recent...
Wetlands in Assam have been carrying out a great role minimising intensity of flood in Brahmaputra valley. Better conservation of wetlands in the state may be the most effective way to control flood and erosion problems. Because wetlands store a large amount of excess water during flood. Most of wetlands in the state have become shallow due to turbidity, silt and sediment deposition. As they are becoming shallow the capacity of flood water storage also decreasing. So if these wetlands can be dredged and make deeper these will have more capacity to store more amount of flood water. According to Dr. B P Duarah, a Geologist and professor and Department of Geology, Gauhati University, said...
Dengaon is a beautiful area consists green hills, plains and rivers in Brahmaputr a valley. More than 50 villages and most of its inhabitants are belong to Karbi tribe. This area in border of Nagoan and Karbi Anglong districts in Assam are highly and dangerously fluoride-affected in Brahmaputra valley. The presence of excess amount of fluoride was tested in the water from rivers, ponds, wells, tube-well and deep-wells. Villagers have been suffering from fluoride for centuries which was detected in last decade. There are no drinking water supply facilities in remote villages which are not easily accessible. Symptoms of excess fluoride induced disorders are prevalent some states of the...
While high transmission wires offer a resting place to thousands of the Amur falcons, pausing briefly in Northeast India on their journey to southern Africa, the wires have brought doom for one of the endangered avian species, the Blacked-necked crane in Northeast India. The cranes collide with the metal grid wire line as they land and take off within the Valley. The species is classified as Vulnerable in the IUCN Red List because it has a single small population that is in decline owing to the loss and degradation of wetlands, and changing agricultural practices in both its breeding and wintering grounds.   The small population of the Black-necked Crane or the Tibetan Crane, now...
Dredging the Brahmaputra is not a sole solution to minimie the flood and erosion problem of Assam. Scientists and experts say that the sole plan to dredge the riverbed will not help to solve the problem. A K Mitra, the former Secretary of Water Resource Department of government of Assam, says that dredging Brahmaputra is just an idea proposed about. It is still in theoritical state which would be difficult to implement without a total plan. Flood in Assam needs multi measures to minimise it, Mitra said. China had success story of dredging Huawang Ho on account of its multi-measures, he recalled with his field experience in China. In Assam it cann't be succeess unlesss and until some...
People of Pasighat region in Arunachal Pradesh resists big dam building in Siang river, the upstream of the Brahmaputra (Yarlung Zangbo) in India. People of Siang districts in Arunachal Pradesh have been agitating against more dam building on Siang river, the main water flow of Brahmaputra (Yarlung Zangbo) from Tibet, China. In a recent meeting on 'Policy Dialogue for Governance of the Brahmaputra River' held in Itanagar, the capital city of Arunachal Pradesh the anti-dam leaders cleared their position while state government officials and some experts had emphasised dam building on Siang (Brahmaputara). But, the anti-dam movement leaders have not changed their stand. Both Union and state...
After the Pink-headed Duck and the King Vulture, the magnifient White-bellied Heron (WBH) in Assam is all set to go the Dodo way. The absence or disappearance of the White bellied Heron is a matter of grave concern for conservationists. The bird is on the edge of extinction or may have gone extinct in Assam since sighting of the bird becomes very rare. Ornithologists say, there may be a few White bellied herons left in Manas National Park along the Bhutan border, but not sure whether they are resident or flew in from the Bhutan side. A few years back, photograph of this rare bird with a noose around its neck in a village in lower Assam sent shock waves among bird lovers of the state. There...
Ranjit, a high yielding rice variety developed by Assam Agricultural University (AAU) have shown 66 per cent increase in productivity. Technology Showcasing Programme on Seed Production of crops was undertaken recently in five villages of Assam in and around Khetri and Kamrup districts. Hemchandra Saikia, a subject matter specialist in Agricultural Economics revealed that Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Kamrup intervened by providing quality seed of Ranjit along with recommended doses of fertilizers and required technical helps in the form of advices and training to villagers of Deulguri, Chitalpur, Khaloibari, Nuwagaon and Bhadarkuchi and the result was an increase of 65.86 per cent in...
Villagers in remote north-east India have revived irrigation systems to overcome water shortages and boost agriculture in a region suffering from insurgent violence and government neglect The districts of Baksa, Chirang and Udalguri of Assam on the India- Bhutan border were once lush green. However, rapid urbanisation and deforestation has turned these areas into arid zones. The once perennial sources of water are now almost dry in winter. Deforestation and climate change has made water scarce and pushed local communities towards hunger and poverty. India and Bhutan share a number of transboundary rivers. While the Indian side of the border comprises mostly of dry plains, the hills on the...