The conservation crisis of Asian elephants Elephas maximas in northeast India, had led to the formation of Elephant Research and Conservation Division at Aaranyak back in 2002. Today, it is one of the most successful initiatives of Aaranyak. ERCD has been the apt platform for transforming young enthusiastic researchers into conservation biologists and has led to the successful completion of two PhDs. It started off with conservation awareness campaign to sensitize people regarding the threats posed to elephants and the need for concerted efforts to save the giants in 2003-04. Since then, it has been actively working in the landscape and aims to promote research on this pachyderm and resolve human-elephant conflict by empowering local communities and supporting the forest department. Aaranyak plans to expand the work beyond the northeast India and has its presence in Assam and Northern West Bengal.
Aaranyak has adopted integrated approach of ecological research and mobilising communities to cope up with the present elephant conservation scenario by working cohesively with all the stakeholders.
Manas harbours a good population of elephants and is an important conservation area. As elephants are long ranging species, Manas being contiguous with the Royal Manas National Park in Bhutan is a potential elephant habitat. Aaranyak has been working in the landscape for last two decades and elephants are studied for more than a decade now.
Golaghat district in central Assam is one of the most HEC prone districts of Assam. The people have vastly modified the landscape by clearing forests, expanding agriculture resulting in frequent confrontation with the elephants. This led to the severity of the conflict where both the species are suffering alike. Several initiatives are undertaken since 2004 for better coexistence by empowering the local communities.
Eastern Assam Chapter
In the easternmost region of Dehing-Patkai Elephant Reserve, a project was initiated in 2014. The project established the population status of Elephants in Dehing-Patkai Elephant Reserve alongwith conflict mapping and support to the forest personnel. Of late, Aaranyak initiated a project in the districts of Sibasagar and Jorhat to collect base line information on present status on elephants and Human elephant conflict.
For more information contact
Dr. Bibhuti prasad Lahkar