KVIC launches project in Assam to prevent elephant-human conflict

Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) launched a project to reduce conflict between elephants and humans by using bees in Assam, nine months after its launch in Karnataka.

As part of the RE-HAB (Reducing Elephant-Human Attacks using Bees) project, fences are created by installing bee nesting boxes on elephant passages to block their entry into human territories. The boxes are connected with a string so that when the elephants attempt to pass through, a tug or pull causes the bees to swarm the elephant herds and deters them from advancing further, KVIC said. It was first launched in Karnataka in March this year.

The project was launched on Friday by KVIC chairman VK Saxena in the village of Mornoi, in the Goalpara district of Assam, which is grappling with elephant-human conflict.

Saxena said the project would prove to be a lasting solution to the human-elephant conflicts that are very common in Assam.

The RE-HAB project was a great success in Karnataka, so it was launched in Assam with greater efficiency and better technical know-how. I hope the project will contain the elephant attacks in the coming months and bring the local villagers back to their farms. At the same time, the bee crates distributed by KVIC to these farmers will increase their income through beekeeping, ”said Saxena.

The project was implemented in Assam with support from the local forestry department, KVIC said.

“Surrounded by dense forests, much of Assam is infested with elephants with 332 human deaths reported between 2014 and 2019 due to elephant attacks,” the commission said in a statement.

He said the project is a cost-effective way to reduce human-wildlife conflict without causing damage to animals. “It is scientifically recorded that elephants are annoyed by honey bees. Elephants also fear that swarms of bees may bite the sensitive inner side of the trunk and eyes. The collective buzz of bees is annoying to elephants who keep them. force to come back, “he added. noted.

A total of 330 intercalated bee boxes will be placed in the villages of Mornoi and Dahikata in Assam within a week to keep elephants away, KVIC said. “These bee boxes were given to 33 farmers and educated young people in these villages by KVIC whose families were affected by elephants. Elephant looting of crops in these villages is reported almost daily for 9-10 months a year, ”he said.

He said the threat from elephants there is so severe that villagers, in recent years, have stopped cultivating their farms for fear of elephant attacks. “These villages have an abundant production of paddy, lychee and jackfruit which attracts elephants. High resolution night vision cameras have been installed at strategic points to record the impact of bees on elephants and their behavior in these areas. “, did he declare.

The RE-HAB project is a sub-mission of the KVIC National Honey Mission.

While the Honey Mission is a program to increase the bee population, honey production, and income of beekeepers by installing apiaries, the RE-HAB project uses bee boxes as a fence to prevent attacks from beehives. elephants.

The RE-HAB project was launched at 11 sites in Kodagu district of Karnataka on March 15, 2021. In just six months, this project reduced elephant attacks by more than 70%, KVIC said.

Sharing data, KVIC said nearly 500 people die each year from elephant attacks in India. “From 2015 to 2020, nearly 2,500 people lost their lives in elephant attacks. On the contrary, nearly a fifth of that number, or nearly 500 elephants, have also died in human reprisals over the past five years, ”he said.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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