Elephant alert! Human-jumbo conflict zones in Assam sport signboards

Biodiversity conservation group undertakes initiative in three districts of the Bodoland Territorial Region

Published - January 14, 2024 04:06 pm IST - GUWAHATI

A signboard warning about elephant movement being put up in high human-elephant conflict zones in Assam.

A signboard warning about elephant movement being put up in high human-elephant conflict zones in Assam. | Photo Credit: Special Correspondent

GUWAHATI Human-elephant conflict zones beyond areas adjoining the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries are sporting warning signboards for the first time in Assam.

Aaranyak, an Assam-based biodiversity conservation group has put up 12 signboards at strategic locations in the Udalguri, Tamulpur, and Baksa districts to ensure the safe passage of wildlife and people across busy roads. The districts are in the Bodoland Territorial Region bordering Bhutan.

The signage is aimed at mitigating conflicts between humans and elephants in some of the most vulnerable stretches in the country.

“The signboards highlight the elephant’s presence in the area, and how we all must be careful to avoid unwanted encounters with elephants and improve safety for both people and elephants,” Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar, Aaranyak’s senior conservation scientist, said.

A signboard warning about elephant movement being put up in high human-elephant conflict zones in Assam.

A signboard warning about elephant movement being put up in high human-elephant conflict zones in Assam. | Photo Credit: Special Correspondent

“The warning signs also serve as a means of awareness on how to share space. For a wider reach, the signage is in English, Assamese, and Hindi languages,” he added.

The signboards stand along the roadside of some tea estates and areas with larger human habitats.

“These strategic locations were selected after consultation with the local people, forest personnel, and tea garden authorities, followed by a survey to understand the feasibility of installation of the signboards,” Alolika Sinha, said wildlife biologist associated with human-elephant conflict mitigation and facilitation of coexistence efforts of Aaranyak.

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