GUWAHATI, Jan 13: In an effort to address the ongoing human-elephant conflict (HEC) and reduce casualties, Aaranyak, a leading biodiversity conservation organisation in the region, has undertaken the installation of warning signboards in strategic locations.
The initiative commenced with the placement of 12 signboards in Udalguri, Tamulpur, and Baksa districts, where human encounters with wild elephants have been frequent. These signages are strategically positioned to ensure safe passage for both wildlife and people across busy roads.
Dr Bibhuti Prasad Lahkar, senior conservation scientist at Aaranyak, highlighted the significance of the signboards in alerting the public about the potential presence of wild elephants. The goal is to enhance awareness and promote careful behaviour to avoid unintended encounters with elephants, thereby improving safety for both humans and elephants. The signboards are currently installed in English, Assamese, and Hindi languages for wider reach.
The selected locations for signboard placement were determined through consultations with local communities, forest personnel, and tea garden authorities. The areas include Paneri Tea Garden, Bhooteachang Tea Garden, Orangajuli, Nagrijuli, Kumarikata, Khairani, Uttarkuchi, and Subankhata.
“We are grateful to SBI Foundation and US Fish and Wildlife Services for the extended support in this important conservation effort,” stated Dr Alolika Sinha, a wildlife biologist associated with Aaranyak’s HEC mitigation and coexistence facilitation endeavors.