Asian Elephant Conservation Programme in Bangladesh

The lingering populations of Asian elephants continue to be curtailed by the consequences of frequent habitat loss and fragmentation, food scarcity, encroachment, human-elephant conflicts, and illegal killing. During the last 50 years of the last century, population of Asian Elephant dropped by more than a half. Currently, Asian elephants are spread across 13 countries, and frequently in habitats that are too small and perilous for their survival. In Bangladesh, with a small population size, with sustaining threats and aggravating challenges, the survival of Asian Elephants is even more difficult compared with other Asian elephant range countries, and therefore has been locally categorized as ‘Critically Endangered’. It is thus indispensable to gather information on the current status of Asian elephants of the country. Current initiative will help to take proper management options to conserve this mega species.

Objectives

  • To identify the location, causes and frequency of human elephant conflict (HEC);
  • To identify elephant routes and corridors, and prepare a habitat management program focusing HEC mitigation in the northern part of Bangladesh;
  • To prepare a HEC management protocol including transboundary issues;
  • To use scientific modern and indigenous mechanisms to deter elephants from crop fields;
  • To conduct extensive conservation awareness programmes.

Key activities

  • Collection of secondary data;
  • Conduct field survey to asses elephant population, routes, corridors, intensity and causes of HEC;
  • Mapping of elephant movement routes, corridors and HEC sites;
  • Mobilization of the local forest department staffs to form village elephant response team and forest elephant response team;
  • Preparation and printing of HEC mitigation protocol and with a set of recommendation on habitat management and compensation scheme focusing HEC reduction;
  • Extensive conservation awareness program for the community people.

Supported by
Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection (SRCWP) Project of Bangladesh Forest Department with Financial Support from the World Bank.

Project duration
Two years (June 2013 to May 2015)

Project area
Reserved forests of Sherpur (Nalitabari, Jhinaigati, and Sreebardi upazila) and Jamalpur (Bakshiganj upazila) district

Implemented by
Human Economic Development Society (HEDS)