Safe Passage for Elephants in Tea Plantations of West Bengal

The mission of this project is to create a safe passage for elephants when they migrate through the tea plantations between forest patches, and restore the lost habitats, by planting native and endemic species. One of the main objectives is to train the same aggressive youth who taunt the elephants as they attempt to pass through the tea plantations, instead channeling their energies to manage the mob, while defending and protecting the elephants.

Crowd control is a perennial issue when the elephants are migrating between forest patches and crossing the tea plantations. Our grassroots partners, including Nature Mates India and Haathi Saathi Foundation organized a preliminary meeting with tea plantation workers at Azmabad Tea Estate to introduce this crucial program. 

 

It involves awareness and training campaigns to create “chokidars” (escorts) who will be tasked to control the mobs that appears out of nowhere when elephants pass through the tea plantation. Key topics included the importance of respecting the habitat needs of elephants and sharing space safely with them.

 

The other key objective is transforming vast stretches of tea plantations into elephant corridors

 

Habitat restoration by planting elephant friendly fodder and other endemic species to enrich the biodiversity, thus promoting long term species survival.

It’s well known that elephants of India face numerous threats due to the explosive growth in human population, which is intensifying competition for space. But the situation is dire near the Indo-Nepal border, an ancient migratory route that elephants have been using for centuries to cross between India and Nepal. Recent political tensions have resulted in the construction of layers of treacherous blade fencing, obliterating these traditional pathways. 


This is where VFAES stepped in, joining hands with Nature Mates India and Haathi Saathi to secure safe passage for elephants and prevent conflict in the highly fragmented state of West Bengal while offering these animals a safe haven

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