RAIDING PATTERN OF MIGRATORY ELEPHANTS IN A HUMAN DOMINATED LANDSCAPE IN NORTHERN BANGLADESH
This study addresses raiding patterns of migratory elephants in northern Bangladesh by raiding area visit, focus group discussions (FGDs), key informant interviews and other secondary sources. During the study period, over 750 acres of cropland, at least 228 houses, death of 8 people and serious injury to 26 people was caused due to elephant raiding; additionally, 2 elephants also died due to conflict. We observed that migratory herds cross the surrounded border fence from India to Bangladesh through at least 61 entry points, raided for a week or more in 54 border villages then moved back. The group sizes of raiding elephants were highly biased to large groups and didn’t vary seasonally. Raiding is elevated during the summer and autumn months, at night, and just before and after the paddy harvest season. It has been found that raiding incidents took place mainly around the crop fields and human settlements which were in close proximity to the border fence. Possible mitigation measures recommended specific for this transboundary region include improvement and preservation of remaining forest patches as a core elephant zone, eco-development initiatives, intensive awareness program, bilateral collaboration with Indian government towards conservation initiatives.
ECOPRINT 24: 21-27, 2017