Ecology and Conservation of Asian Elephants in Kameng Elephant Reserve in Arunachal Pradesh
The Kameng Elephant Reserve is an area of high abundance of Asian elephants in Arunachal Pradesh. The forest in this landscape is relatively intact with very low pressure of collection of forest produce and illegal hunting. Increased levels of deforestation, developmental activities and human encroachment along the Assam border have caused, in the recent past, an influx of elephants into this landscape which has resulted in a moderate level of human-elephant conflict. However one of the worst cases of human-elephant conflict in recent years has been witnessed by the people and elephants of Sonitpur district of Assam, just across the border from Kameng .The large scale destruction of forest areas in the Sonitpur reserve has caused a severe strain on the Kameng Elephant Reserve and there was a need to develop a comprehensive management plan for the entire landscape.
A collaborative project between ANCF and Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) was initiated in the Pakke Wildlife Sanctuary (a part of the Kameng Elephant Reserve) in collaboration with the Arunachal Forest Department. The project was carried out in Pakke for over five years (2000-2005) and resulted in a comprehensive understanding of elephant population dynamics in the area which helped in better understanding of the conservation issues such as resolving the conflict and protecting the corridors that existed in the area. Simultaneously, the project also started conservation actions that help support elephant conservation in the Kameng Elephant Reserve.