Status Survey and Development of an Elephant Action Plan for Bangladesh

Status Survey and Development

Status Survey and Development of an Elephant Action Plan for Bangladesh

Context
The Asian elephants in Bangladesh are critically endangered. Being a flagship or umbrella species, elephants are a symbol of healthy ecosystem upon which the biodiversity flourish. The conservation of elephants is crucial to the maintenance of biodiversity and ecological integrity of Bangladesh.

In Bangladesh the population of wild elephants has declined drastically in last two centuries because of habitat fragmentation and destruction caused by the expansion of agriculture and human settlement. The growing pressure on elephant habitats and movement corridors results elephant-human conflict in terms of crop raid, resource damage and human casualties. With slightly over 200 individuals left in the wild, elephant is severely threatened throughout its range in Bangladesh. In the mid of twenty first century, there were more than 500 elephants present in their natural habitats throughout Bangladesh, but recent estimate conducted by IUCN Bangladesh in 2004 show that the number of wild elephant is no higher than 230 in wild.

The significance of elephants is now evidently known. It is thus essential to spot the present status of elephants and come up with a structured Action Plan to conserve remaining elephants in Bangladesh.

About the project
As part of the Bangladesh Forest Department’s project on "Strengthening Regional Cooperation for Wildlife Protection" funded by World Bank, IUCN Bangladesh has been implementing the project titled- ‘Status Survey and Development of Elephant Action Plan’ project with a view to ensure the long term conservation of Asian elephants and their habitats.

The project is focused on identifying the present status of elephant population in wild, preparing maps to show the habitats, routes, corridors and frequent HEC areas, preparing a long-term conservation Action Plan based on status identified for the conservation of Asian elephants Bangladesh, and piloting of some identified actions selected in HEC areas.

Key Activities
●    Liaising and collaborating with government agencies, local communities and concerned stakeholders to develop a National Elephant Action Plan
●    Conducting population survey to determine the present status of Asian elephants
●    Mapping elephant movement routes and corridors, habitats and human-elephant conflict zones throughout the elephant ranges of Bangladesh
●    Piloting identified actions to explore and identify best feasible human-elephant mitigation approaches

 Expected Outcome
●    National Elephant Action plan developed and be utilized by stakeholders.
●    Elephant population status determined.
●    Maps of elephant movement routes and corridors, habitat and zones prone to human-elephant conflict throughout elephant ranges in Bangladesh produced.
●    Best appropriate approaches to minimize human-elephant conflict identified.
●    Manuscript on elephant movement routes, corridors and habitats published

The successful completion of earlier initiatives of IUCN Bangladesh has provided the project with solid data and information support to continue its work.  With two years duration, the present project is expected to conclude in June 2015.

Contact
Mohammad Abdul Motaleb
Project Manager, Status Survey and Development of an Elephant Action Plan for Bangladesh
IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature)
Bangladesh Country Office
House 16, Road 2/3,
Banani, Dhaka 1213.
Tel: +880-2-9890395; +880-2-9890423, Ext.-110
Fax +880-2-9892854
Skypee: manha007
Cell: +8801716397875
email: abdul.motaleb@iucn.org; abdulmotaleb93@yahoo.com
www.iucn.org/bangladesh

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