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US mulls jumbo action plan - Agency suggests use of technology to reduce conflict (India)

jeudi 10 décembre 2009

Guwahati, Dec. 9 : The United States Fish and Wildlife Service has underlined the need to prepare an action plan for elephants in Assam and pledged support to it.

“There is a need for an elephant action plan for Assam — an important elephant range state — and we will support it,” Meenakshi Nagendran, programme officer of Asian Elephant Conservation Fund of US Fish and Wildlife Service, said during a two-day workshop on human-elephant conflict here today.

The programme titled, “Strategic planning workshop on mitigation of human-elephant conflict in Assam”, concluded today.

The United States Fish and Wildlife Service is a federal government agency dedicated to the management of wildlife. The present population of elephants in Assam is 5,281, which is 58 per cent of the animal’s population in Northeast India.

The US official said modern technology could be used in elephant conservation.

“Assam is an important place for us and proposals from non-governmental organisations are being carefully looked at,” the official told The Telegraph later.

The agency has offered support to various projects on mitigation of human-elephant conflicts in Assam.

Parbati Barua, noted elephant catcher, said there had been an increase in the number of elephant electrocution cases in the state of late.

“We must protect our elephants now, otherwise their population will gradually dwindle and a day might come when we get to see their images in books only and not in reality,” she added.

The Assam government has already set up joint co-ordination committees in every district for monitoring the maintenance of the transmission lines to prevent electrocution of elephants.

Deliberations were held looking into various facets of human-elephant conflict in the state during the workshop.

Wildlife expert Anwaruddin Choudhury said discussions should be held on providing inviolate spaces to elephants within their habitats by relocating the settlers. The Telegraph December 10, 2009

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