Thursday, January 03, 2019

Kolkata-bound ivory worth Rs 1.69 crore seized


In a major success against wildlife parts smuggling, sleuths of Revenue Intelligence have recovered over 16 kg

of ivory worth Rs 1.69 crore in the international market from a place near Siliguri in Bengal, officials said on Thursday.

The incident took place at Ghoshpukur in the outskirts of Siliguri, RI officials said, adding the seizure was made after the RI launched an operation following a tip-off.

"The 16.962 kg of elephant tusk ivory were concealed in a black tea laden truck, which was on its way to Kolkata from Assam," an official said.

"The elephant tusks in four cut pieces were being secretly transported in the said vehicle loaded with consignment of black tea.

"On interrogation, the driver of the vehicle confessed that the elephant tusks were handed over to him at Baihata Chariali by one person of Guwahati for transport of the same to Kolkata," the officials said, quoting the driver.

"Preliminary investigation revealed that the tusks were extracted from poached elephants in the forested areas of Assam and were being carried to Kolkata for export to South East Asian countries via Bangladesh," the official said.

The Indian (Asian) Elephant is listed in Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) and also listed under Sl no: 12B of Part I of Schedule I of the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972.

"The elephant tusks valued at about Rs 1.69 crore in the international market have been seized under the provisions of the Customs Act, 1962 read with the Wildlife Protection Act," the official added.

--IANS

ah/prs

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Indian elephant dies near Rowmari border


The carcass was spotted bear the 1067/6S pillar area on the border, BGB officials said

An Indian wild elephant died near the Baraibari border area in Kurigram’s Rowmari upazila on Monday, local Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) officials reported.

Maidul and Saiful, two local residents, said a herd of elephants had crossed the border Sunday night, destroying crops and causing disturbance.

As the locals tried to drive them away, they witnessed an elephant falling down near the border.

BGB Baraibari camp Company Commander Subedar Shafik confirmed the incident, telling reporters that a dead elephant had been spotted near the 1067/6S pillar area.

He added that the cause of its death could not be determined, but the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) had been informed and would retrieve its body soon.

There have been a number of similar incidents in the areas near the Bangladesh-India border over the last several years, where Indian wild elephants have strayed into Bangladesh – sometimes entering human habitats. Some of these stray elephants died or were killed in conflict with humans.

Shortage of food and destruction of habitats, as well as natural disasters such as floods, forced the elephants to venture out and into human territory, according to forest officials.

The governments of Bangladesh and India have been in talks to create safe “corridors” for wild elephants to ensure trans-boundary conservation of the elephants.

However, the last bilateral talk between the forest and wildlife officials of thetwo countrieson wild elephant conservation took place in July 2017.

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Indian elephant dies near Rowmari border


Locals gather around the carcass of a wild elephant found in Baraibari border area in Rowmari, Kurigram on Monday, December 10, 2018 Dhaka TribuneThe carcass was spotted bear the 1067/6S pillar area on the border, BGB officials saidAn Indian wild elephant died near Baraibari border area in Kurigram’s Rowmari upazila on Monday, local Border Guard Bangladesh (BGB) officials reported. Maidul and Saiful, two local residents, said a herd of elephants had crossed the border Sunday night, destroying crops and causing disturbance. As the locals tried to drive them away, they witnessed an elephant falling down near the border. BGB Baraibari camp Company Commander Subedar Shafik confirmed the incident, telling reporters that a dead elephant had been spotted near the 1067/6S pillar area. He added that the cause of its death could not be determined, but the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) had been informed and would retrieve its body soon.

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Friday, November 30, 2018

3rd Elephant Conservation Dialogue emphasises habitat protection


Bangladesh-India 3rd elephant conservation dialogue held in Dhaka Thursday emphasized on collaborative efforts to protect the endangered mammals.
At the inaugural session of the day-long dialogue delegates said the rapid depletion of elephant habitats must be checked at any cost to conserve the rich and diverse ecosystem of the two South Asian countries.
The delegates from the two countries exchanged data relating to elephant conservation and maps of corridors used by elephants in the bordering districts of Bangladesh and India.
The previous dialogues were held in Kolkata in 2016 and in Shillong in 2017.
Speaking as the chief guest environment, forest and climate change ministry secretary Abdullah Al Mohsin Chowdhury identified food shortage, loss of habitats and killing of elephants as threats to shrinking population of Asian elephants.
Temporary Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazaar blocked almost all the ancient trails of wild elephants, he said.
Bangladesh-Indian collaborative efforts were needed to protect elephants as they follow no boundaries, said Indian environment, forest and climate change ministry additional director general of forests (wildlife) Manmohan Singh Negi.

Environment, forest and climate change ministry additional secretary Billal Hossain said that with support from IUCN, the forest department of Bangladesh formed 26 elephant response teams to check human-elephant conflicts and implement plantation projects to provide fodder for elephants.
Chairing the inaugural session at the Forest Department’s Haimanti Auditorium at Agargaon chief conservator of forests Mohammed Shafiul Alam Chowdhury said fragmentation of elephant habitats must be stopped using multifaceted approaches.

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Friday, November 09, 2018

Wildlife under threat


ASM Jahir Uddin Akon
Dhaka divisional forest officer, wildlife management and nature conservation circle

The government has taken some remarkable initiatives for the conservation of forest and wildlife — Wildlife (Conservation and Security) Act 2012 has been enacted, at least 41 wildlife sanctuaries have been declared as reserved forests, the Department of Forest has distributed duties among its six divisional offices while creating wildlife management and nature conservation circles.
DoF’s wildlife crime control unit comprising wildlife inspectors, forest guards, personnel of the Rapid Action Battalion, Coast Guard, Customs and Border Guard of Bangladesh has been formed to check poaching and trafficking of wildlife. Two safari parks have been set up in the country for the protection of Ex-situ and In-situ wildlife.
Five wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centres have been established in the country so that injured wild animals can get veterinary treatment. To enrich knowledge of forest and wildlife as well as facilitate research, the government has recently inaugurated Shiekh Kamal Wildlife Centre in Gazipur. The centre will serve as a centre of excellence.
Sometimes, people living near a forest are attacked by wild animals. The victim family can get compensated by the government. Conflicts among human and wild animal bring negative results for both.
As we know that wildlife and their ecosystem along with food chain are the integral part of forest and nature, mutual coexistence between humans and wildlife must be maintained for the conservation of the ecosystem.
DoF along with some development partners is implementing many conservation campaigns and projects to engage community people so that human-wild animal conflicts reduce.

ABM Sarowar Alom
Senior progamme officer, IUCN

Forest coverage of Bangladesh is now limited to some particular zones which are also facing huge pressure due to deforestation. Forests are now in some pockets such as the Sunderbans, Chattogram Hill Tracts and Moulavibazar areas. Growing human population and the demand for land for their habitation are causing rapid loss of wild animals’ habitat. The wild animals are also facing acute food shortage.

People’s hostile attitude towards animal has intensified threats to wildlife. For example, fisher folks apply poisons in the creeks and canals of the Sunderbans to catch fish. The poisons eventually contaminate the water in which other floral and faunal species of the mangrove live.

Although sport hunting is checked, poaching and illegal trade of wild animal are still going on. IUCN with some projects is working to engage local community people with wildlife conservation. Community involvement through creating alternative earning source will lessen their dependence on forest resources.

IUCN is so much involved in conservation of the endangered animals like Bengal tiger, Asian Elephant, gharial, vulture, turtle and birds in Bangladesh.

The positive thing is that Bangladesh, compared with other Asian countries, is still a better place for wildlife breeding. Despite many threats, this is evident that many rare animals still can survive in the country as its weather is congenial for wildlife living.

The government has enacted Wildlife Conservation Act 2012, which is very strict about wildlife-related crimes. So far, 41 forests have been declared reserved for wildlife protection. Proper implementation of the law and forest management could bring some positive results for the shrinking wildlife.

Sayam U Chowdhury
Conservation biologist

Birds in Bangladesh face a wide variety of threats including habitat loss, large-scale development, illegal hunting and use of harmful pesticide.

Different bird habitats face different issues, for example our forest birds are mainly threatened due to the forest degradation and small-scale hunting (mainly in Chittagong Hill Tracts).

Our freshwater wetland birds face the threat of habitat fragmentation, encroachment, hunting and large-scale commercial fisheries. Development and illegal hunting mainly threaten our coastal birds. Our riverine birds also face similar threats like the freshwater wetland birds but there are also agricultural encroachments.

Our common birds in homestead forests and agricultural lands are possibly facing an invisible issue of using harmful pesticides.

The authorities concerned can protect these habitats by planning large-scale development (like deep sea port, power plants etc.) more wisely and leaving important bird habitats such as mudflats and intertidal islands in the coastal area. This can be achieved by designating bird sanctuaries and protected areas.

Similar conservation measures can be taken for our freshwater wetland and riverine birds. In both areas, local communities need to be educated on sustainable use of natural resources. More riverine (currently there is none) and freshwater sanctuaries need to be identified and designated as protected areas.

In order to protect forest of Bangladesh and thus forest birds, Bangladesh Forest Department can declare more protected areas, where no-tree-felling policy will be applied. The forest department will also need more manpower as currently they are extremely underequipped to protect forests.

There is a huge gap in our understanding of how the current usage of pesticides are harming our resident birds, this needs to be investigated and a strict policy framework on pesticide usage also needs to be developed.

In order to control illegal hunting, local communities need to be well informed so that they can work closely with the authorities concerned to protect both migratory and resident birds.

Nigar Sultana
Wildlife inspector, Department of Forest

Poachers commonly prey on birds like myna, parakeet, heron, swamphen, munia, dove and migratory birds. Among the wild animals, gecko, turtle, fishing cat, monkey, deer, mongoose and others are often poached for illegal export.

Among the reasons behind illegal animal trade and poaching is lack of people’s awareness about wildlife conservation. Bird poachers are mostly poor and they do not have to invest much in this illegal business. They can catch the wild animals easily in the forest. The illegal animal traders can earn money without much effort.

Most importantly, there is a huge market of wild animal and birds in the domestic and international arena. Many people like to rear wild animals as pets. People lacking awareness about Wildlife Conservation Act 2012 do not bother about the legal consequences of poaching, trading and rearing wild animals.

I think more publicity of the wildlife conservation law may help rise people’s awareness. Common people must know that only wild environment suits the wild animals.

Textbook contents for children with information on wild animals and their congenial habitation, most importantly the need for healthy ecosystem and biodiversity, will be crucial.

Besides, poachers and illegal wild animal traders must be brought to book. If they are tried for violating the law, new enterprise will not grow.

Selina Sultana
Wildlife researcher

For the assessment of wildlife in Bangladesh under the IUCN Red List project, I visited the Sunderbans, Khulna, Sathkhira, shoals of coastal districts, three Chattogram hill districts, Cox’s Bazaar and Moulavibazar.

Data collection for the project was done between December 2013 and December 2015. We were divided in seven groups and I worked with the butterfly, fish and crustacean assessment groups.

During the data collection, we could not gather information about more than 250 species which we had categorised as data-deficient. May be the species still exist in the environment or not. We recommended thorough research on the data-deficient category species to know about their present status. May be the species need special project for their regeneration.

We found that habitat loss was the major threat to the wildlife. Butterflies are losing their habitats every day because of bush cleansing before development works like construction of homes, communication facilities and other concrete establishments.

Rampant water pollution is another reason for the dwindling population of butterflies because they are highly sensitive to polluted water.

We also found that fishes and crustaceans were facing habitat loss. Water bodies dry out due to drought during the summer as well as shrinking connectivity following withdrawal of water flow. Fish and crustacean cannot ooze properly. There regeneration is now under threat.

Besides, the shortage of water bodies, water contamination with pollutants accelerates destruction of aquatic habitats. Due to poor management of toxic waste, water and shore of the water bodies become polluted, affecting zooplanktons. Harming the primary source of animal’s food cycle will certainly affect others. For example, if the insects disappear, frogs would suffer from food shortage. Snake would also be affected when frogs become extinct.

Although there are concerns about climate change, I think human-made causes affect the wild animals most.

There are many critically endangered animal and bird species. If they are facing continuous habitat loss, they will be extinct regionally within the next 10-15 years. The Red List team identified hotspots of the endangered animals. Now the government should take special conservation projects along with widening forest reservation to check deforestation. Waste management in the urban cities is also crucial to conserve the aquatic lives.

Mohiul Islam
Wildlife photographer

I think general people are getting aware of wildlife conservation day by day. But this is not enough as the population of wild animals and birds of Bangladesh is dwindling rapidly.

In the last four years of my photography, I have observed that many bird species are disappearing from the vast green field in village Shyamlasi, neighbouring Keraniganj and Savar due to rapid human habitation. More than 60 bird species used to be found there even two years back. Ever shrinking grasslands and tree coverage badly affect habitation of the chestnut munia, Indian silverbill, tri-coloured munia, striated grass bird, plaintive cuckoo and many more.

Yellow-footed green pigeon, coppersmith barbet, rose-ringed parakeet, wryneck, hoopoe, black-winged kite have almost disappeared from the rural Dhaka due to deforestation.

When we do group visit for photography to the rural areas, local people often ask whether we are for hunting birds. It means bird hunting is still going on in the areas. According to local people, munia and parakeet are common prey for sport hunters. Besides, population of herons and migratory birds is decreasing due to poaching by meat traders.

In the recent time, wildlife photography is gaining popularity. Many emerging photographers are coming forward to develop this genre. Those who are working in this field can also take the responsibility of awareness building among local people. They can talk about the environmental impacts of dwindling bird population. A group of professional can change the mindset of the people who are unaware about biodiversity conservation.

Most often, I see that amateur photographers unintentionally destroy bird nest or other wildlife habitats while doing photography. Sometimes they litter things on the wildlife trails. I think people coming forward to work on wildlife issues should first change their negative attitude.

Q M Monzur Kader Chowdhury
Veterinary doctor and former president of Pradhikar

Pradhikar, a non-profitable, voluntary student’s organisation of Sylhet Agricultural University, started its journey on June 5, 2012 during celebration of World Environment Day with a mission to raise awareness among people about animal rights. The team also works for biodiversity conservation.

We already have rescued hundreds of wild animals and organised awareness raising school campaigns, seminars, workshops and awareness raising rally with the help of community and authorities concerned.

Most of the members have knowledge of veterinary science, which is an advantage in handling, treatment, care and management of injured wildlife.

Our city, Sylhet, is a biodiversity-rich area though conservation of nature has always been at stake here. When I started my university life at Sylhet Agricultural University in 2014, I joined ‘Pradhikar’.

It was an evening of 2014. Just after the classes were finished at 5:00pm, I received a phone call about rescuing a wild animal. It was my initiation in volunteering but then I did not find any team mate to go with me in the rescue work.

I felt the need to build a network of community and forest department and started the work that very day. At that moment, the organisation’s first committee had expired and the second committee’s board members had gone into hibernation.

I tried to make them active but failed and started to look for new members. I revived the organisation and started to work with community. Transformational leadership made us a family and tried to change the view of our community about environment and animal’s pain.

The change started within the community as they would often inform us if they saw any injured animals. The job was challenging but our ideas and enthusiasm solved all.

Collaborating with community people, we protested at the decisions of policy makers which we considered would go against biodiversity. Veterinary science knowledge and article writing skills helped me become a young leader in my community as a protector of biodiversity as well as animals.

My team is maintaining this network with BAPA, Bhumisontan Bangladesh, Green Explore Society and forest department that I had built. Though I now hold no position of the organisation, I am an evergreen member of it.

In recognition of my work, I was awarded ‘Save the Frogs Day best organiser Award 2016’, ‘Joy Bangla Youth Award 2017’ and ‘Young Conservationist Award 2017’ for protecting wildlife as well as the environment and animals.

People these days are aware about protecting biodiversity. It is a silent revolutionary change.

Shah Rucksana Urmi
Former vice-president, Pradhikar

The first and foremost challenge for a volunteer in wildlife conservation is scarcity of fund.

Lots of initiatives go in vain for deficient financial support. We collect a monthly donation from our executive board members, which is our primary fund for initiating any programme.

In addition, support from the respective government authorities is not always available to implement the law of wildlife conservation and protection act.

On many occasions, when we rescued any animals, there was no support from anybody. It’s an auspicious moment for us that Wildlife Conservation Centre has started its activities although there is a huge lack of skilled persons.

Lack of skill and knowledge, incapacity in community management and inability to make prompt decisions are big problems in the way of wildlife conservation.

Besides, mistrust of community people and activities of wildlife traders are problems faced by the volunteers.

I think creating followers and leaders with vision is a major task as without this all initiative will go in vain.

I believe there will be a time when we will be able to save wild animals and ultimately save the planet’s biodiversity.

Kanon Barua
Relief actor, Cox’s Bazar

Since August last year, Rohingya people fleeing persecution in their homeland in Myanmar took shelter at Teknaf and adjacent areas of Cox’s Bazaar. The Rohingya people have cut down forest trees as well as earth of hillocks to build their shelter.
Most of the area was once full of trees sheltering varied wild animals and birds but now has become denuded as the Rohingya people collect firewood from the forest for their cooking.
The temporary Rohingya camps are posing habitat threats to the wildlife of the district’s forestland. Especially the mushrooming habitations are blocking years-old trails of the Asian elephant.
The wild elephants cannot move like they did before September of 2017. They are now cornered in the shrinking forestland and fail to forage, facing severe food crisis.
The Rohingya people have risked their lives as elephant herds following their ancient trails often ram into the temporary Rohingya shelters. Some people have already been killed by wild elephants.
The particular locality is inhabited by a number of ethnic minority people who think that survival of the wild animals and birds can save the environment as well as their habitat also.
They think that animals and birds are good friends of people. Hence the local people, concerned about wildlife conservation, fear that if the Rohingya camping continues for long, the wildlife of the area will disappear soon.
The overpopulation on the hills is also threatening to the ecosystem.

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Rapid habitat loss threatens wildlife


Rapid industrialisation coupled with unplanned urbanisation encroaching on forest and wetlands has been wiping out wild animals and birds from their habitats in Bangladesh.
Besides, the government’s negligence in wildlife conservation is expediting the extinction of the already threatened species.
Monirul H Khan, eminent wildlife expert and zoology professor at Jahangirnagar University, has told New Age that wildlife of Bangladesh are facing habitat loss and people’s hostile attitude.
He points out that rapid deforestation to make room for human habitation as well as conversion of forest and wetlands for commercial activities are causing wildlife’s habitat loss.
Lax enforcement of law despite several government policies rendered government efforts to protect the wild animals ineffective.
In 2016, International Union for Conservation of Nature and Department of Forests published a seven-volume exhaustive report on the assessment of 1,619 indigenous animal species, including seven groups of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, birds, freshwater fishes, crustaceans and butterflies.
IUCN placed 390 animal species of the country on its red list of threatened species. The IUCN report categorised 56 of the threatened species critically endangered, 181 as endangered and 153 as vulnerable.
Out of 390 threatened species, the government took conservation action plan only for four species namely Bengal tiger, Asian elephant, gharial and white-ramped vulture.
Of the 1,619 species, 278 were categorised as data-deficient, which offered insufficient information for a proper assessment of conservation status to be made.
However, the government took no steps until date to conduct research on the data-deficient species despite recommendations of biologists.
Professor Mohammad Mostafa Feeroz, who led the mammals’ status evaluation team of IUCN red list, suggests that the authorities should take conservation action plans for 47 threatened mammals otter, clouded leopard, hoolock gibbon, langur, pangolin and macaque other than tiger and elephant.
Ever-expanding human settlement on trails is fragmenting and destroying the habitats of elephants, the already threatened species in the country, thus causing human-elephant casualties.
DoF officials have observed that the tolls of human and elephant casualties increased amid a large part of elephant ranges being allocated as shelters to the Rohingyas fleeing persecution in Myanmar as well as brought under crop cultivation projects.
The government allocated 3,000 acres of forestlands at Ukhia of Cox’s Bazar, entirely on the elephant trails, for sheltering over seven lakh Rohingyas.
Human-elephant conflict was very common in the Sherpur district of the country sharing border with India’s Meghalaya province, a prominent shelter for the Asian elephant.
Asian elephants often occur in the country’s Cox’s Bazar, Sherpur, Bandarban and Moulavibazar districts.
Since 2011, around 140 people were trampled by wild elephants and in the last two decades, tolls of wild elephant rose to 98, said DoF officials.
Professor Monwar Hossain, the lead assessor for butterflies said that habitat loss posed the main threat to breeding for almost 80 per cent of the butterflies, especially the critically endangered Sundarban Crow.
Severe air and water pollution caused by industrial activities in and around the Sunderbans together with habitat loss pose serious threats to honeybees and butterflies, said Dhaka University zoology professor MA Bashar working on the spot.
He warned that reproductive and immune capacities of all the plant species in the Sunderbans would fall sharply as pollination of the major plant species including Sundri, Keora and Geoa is intensely dependent on the Sunderban honeybees.
A recent survey done by the government shows that 822 trips were made by mother vessels using the Passur and the Shela channels, passing through the Sunderbans in fiscal 2014-15 up from 540 in 2010-11.
In fiscal 2014-15, found the survey 4,710 other trips were made by vessels under the purview of Bangladesh-India Inland Water Transit Protocol increasing from 4,168 trips in 2010-11.
In fiscal 2014-15, it shows, 4,778 trips were made by lighter vessels, but no records of previous years’ trips were available.
On August 6 of 2017, National Environmental Committee gave antedated approval to 304 industries that were set up near the Sunderbans since the late 1990s.
On the same date, the environmental committee gave approval for setting up 16 more industries including a liquid bottling plant, which is categorised as ‘Red,’ which is ‘extremely harmful’.
Environmentalists and wildlife experts have expressed serious concern about the existence of Sunderbans ecosystem as unplanned industrialisation at Mongla and Rampal in Bagerhat was putting disastrous impacts on the habitats and food cycle of the mangroves’ flora and fauna.
A latest study, led by Khulna University’s environmental science discipline professor Abdullah Harun Chowdhury, finds poor presence of phytoplankton, zooplankton and benthos, three primary producers of wildlife’s food chain, due to pollution in the Sunderbans’ water, soil and air.
Harun led a seven-member research team to research in and around the Sunderbans, including Gharial, Jarshing, Kalagachia and the River Passur and connecting canals.
The study, conducted during July 2015 and June 2017, found insignificant occurrence of matured plant and animal species surrounding the industrial plots near the Sunderbans.
In the polluted areas, the team found poor presence of eggs and hatchlings of commercially valuable fishes like Parshe, Khorsula and Bagda shrimp in per litre of water.
The study also found dwindling presence of mud-skippers, mud crabs, frogs, snakes, monitor lizards, otter and fishing cat in the intertidal zones of the Sunderbans.
Mustafa Ali Reza Hossain, who was the lead assessor for the IUCN red list of crustaceans, said that unabated water pollution due to rampant use of pesticides and toxic waste dumping were destroying the habitats of shrimps, crabs, lobsters and the other crustaceans.
The study, led by Harun, said that regeneration of Sundari trees, population and habitats of intertidal zone birds, including the worldwide endangered bird Masked Finfoot, common birds, dolphins, crocodile, deer, wild boar and tigers were affected by the industrialised zone near the Sunderbans.
He said that due to continuous changes in the quality of air, water and soil by industrialisation, only three Royal Bengal Tigers’ pug-marks were observed in the industrialised sites of the forest while a previous study in 2010 found 12 tigers’ pug-marks in the same study area.
Blaming shipment of raw materials and construction materials for the ongoing industrial projects through the Sunderbans waterways, Harun said that wildlife migration from the industrialised zone was evident.
Appearance of waterbirds fell sharply in the country’s coastal belt over the last year, according the latest coastal bird census carried out at Bhola and Noakhali in January.
The census was jointly carried out by IUCN, DoF Bangladesh Bird Club, Bangladesh Spoon-billed Sandpiper Conservation Project and Prokriti o Jibon Foundation.
During the latest census, surveyors counted 26,525 individual waterbirds of 57 species down from 41,045 in January 2017.
At least six of the waterbird species were, at different times, declared as globally and locally threatened species.
During the census, a lone Spoon-billed Sandpiper, a critically endangered species, was seen at Char Ganguria, Noakhali.
Habitat loss is the primary cause for the sharp decline in waterbird population, said IUCN senior programme officer ABM Sarowar Alom who was also a member of the census team.
Obaidul Haque, president of Bangladesh Bird Club, said that transformation of the newly formed shoals in the coastal belt into grazing ground for cattle posed habitat threats to the waterbirds.
Studies using remote-sensing technology by local and foreign agencies have found conversion of forests to agriculture and scrub land, which indicates inconsiderate felling of trees, citing the government’s negligence in protecting wildlife habitats.
Lax implementation of forest laws, insufficient demarcation of forest boundaries, non-sustainable forest management and growing demand of land for industrial and infrastructural development were the major drivers of rampant deforestation.
Dense forests and open forests occupied 51.3 per cent and 48.7 per cent respectively of total forest area of the country in 1975.
India’s National Remote Sensing Centre scientist C Sudhakar Reddy-led study ‘Development of National Database on Long-Term Deforestation 1930-2014 in Bangladesh’ recently revealed that the ratio changed in 2014 with dense forests at 46 per cent and open forest at 53 per cent.
The study revealed that the highest rate of forest coverage loss in Chittagong region’s hill forests and the Saal forest range of Madhupur in Tangail.
Another study ‘Comprehensive monitoring of Bangladesh tree cover inside and outside of forests 2000-2014’ revealed that tree cover loss area almost doubled from 2001 to 2006.
Environmental Research Letter published the wall-to-wall mapping and sample-based study in October 2017.
A DoF assessment in October 2017 showed that 25 per cent of deforested areas were converted to agriculture and about 58 per cent to scrub land during 1975 and 2014.
Former chief conservator of forest Md Yunus Ali blamed lack of good governance for the rapid degradation of forest.
Currently, there are 44,96,248.29 acres of reserved forests in the country.
DoF officials admitted that reserved forests protection goals could not be achieved as the reserved forests were not demarcated and shortage of forest guards.

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Sunday, November 04, 2018

Elephant Josodha arrives Satkoshia forest to help capture of Tigress Sundari


Angul, Nov 4 (UNI) After unsuccessful bid to tranqualise tigress sundari, the Satkoshoa Tiger

Reserve (STR) authority finally decided to press elephant Josodha in the mission to capture the
man eater which has so far killed two persons.

The step was taken by the STR authorizes after tranquilization teams from the state and Madhya

Pradesh were unsuccessful in capturing the elusive tigress in satkosia jungle.

The elephant brought from Chandaka Elephant sanctuary has been lodged at the forest range
office of Purunakote after her arrival.

Her mental and physical conditions are being monitored with the change of the climate. One
doctor and her mahut also accompanied along with others.

Forest officials said, after the arrival of the renowned wildlife scientist K Ramesh from Deradhun
the operation to capture the tigress will commence.

According to DFO of satkosia wildlife division Rama Samy, “The elephant was allowed to take
rest on Saturday and her health condition was checked by doctor.

If all goes well then she will be engaged today in the tranquilization process at Purunakote jungle
where the tigress camps right now from Baghmunda jungle.

“We are hopeful that with the help of the elephant the teams will reach at the tigress in
Purunakote jungle and will carry out their mission. We have kept the enclosure ready at Raigoda
for the shifting of the tigress.

MORE UNI XC-DP AKM

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Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Understanding How Elephants Think Is Key to Protecting Them


As human populations steadily increase, the habitat for wild animals is shrinking and violent conflicts between wildlife and people are becoming more frequent. This is certainly the case with elephants in many parts of Asia, where encroaching human populations have led to elephants raiding farmers’ crops and trampling fields to get to ancestral water holes.

Joshua Plotnik, an assistant professor of psychology at Hunter College in New York City, is an expert on elephant cognition and behavior and seeks to use those insights to help mitigate these conflicts in Thailand and other countries. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, he stresses the importance in conservation of getting into the minds of elephants, which, in contrast to humans and other primates, rely heavily on smell and sound to understand the world. Plotnik also discusses how his work has shown elephants to be self-aware and empathetic creatures whose ability to think through problems rivals, and in certain respects exceeds, that of the great apes.

“If we don’t understand elephant behavior, we can’t come up with good solutions for protecting them in the wild,” says Plotnik. “One thing is certain — if we want elephants to continue to exist in the wild, we have to protect habitat. We have to make sure elephants have the resources they need to be elephants.”

Yale Environment 360: How have elephant populations been faring in Asia and beyond?

Joshua Plotnik: Not well. In Asia, some estimates say that there are 30,000 or 40,000 elephants remaining. In Africa, the numbers are likely between 500,000 and 700,000. In Africa, you have had populations decimated by poaching largely due to a demand for ivory products. In countries like Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Myanmar, the biggest problem is human-elephant conflict. So while there is sporadic poaching for ivory in Asia, as well, and now a very scary trade for other elephant body parts, most of the problems involve loss and fragmentation of habitat, which is making it difficult for elephant family groups to survive.

e360: You’ve worked in Thailand. What is the situation like there?

Plotnik: In Thailand, you have a government that cares very much about protecting elephants, but the problem is people there have limited access to land, and the best available land has been set aside for wildlife, so you have rising levels of conflict. As their wild range shrinks and more people are moving to the borders of national parks, elephants, while often looking for higher-quality food, find themselves inside farmers’ croplands.

This leads to conflict and sometimes to the death of elephants and of people. People sometimes die when they try to confront this large, dangerous, intelligent animal. It’s not surprising, when you have two species that were not meant to share a habitat suddenly sharing one.

“By putting up an electric fence, you’re not preventing the elephants from wanting to get what’s on the other side.”

e360: As I understand it, the main reason elephants raid crops is because they are hungry?

Plotnik: That is one reason. What is really interesting to me is that I’ve heard reports, some from India, of elephants destroying crops without eating them. So that might be because the intensity of that conflict is so high that the elephants are just angry, and they are intelligent enough animals that I would not be surprised if they were retaliating against people. We don’t have any hard, empirical evidence for this yet, but the variety of conflict across different landscapes makes this is a scary possibility. So when I hear stories like this I ask: Is it because the elephants are hungry? Is it because they are angry? Is it because their habitat is fragmented?

e360: First you have to find out what the problem is?

Plotnik: That’s right. It is possible that if the elephants had other resources or a larger area to live in they might not enter the cropland. So figuring out exactly how to tackle this is the difficult part, and that’s the part that comes later. The first part involves learning more about elephant behavior, specifically when the elephants are in the middle of these risky crop-raiding situations. My future work in Thailand will involve observing elephants from watchtowers that we are building to actually see how elephants are interacting with one another and with farmers in such situations. If we don’t understand elephant behavior, we can’t come up with good solutions for protecting them in the wild.

e360: The ways we’ve been trying to deal with conflict between humans and elephants in the past have not always worked.

Plotnik: One of the main strategies up until now has been setting up some sort of physical barrier or fence to keep elephants and humans apart. This may help in the short term. Because the situation is so bad, we may need these short-term fixes to stop the escalation of the conflict. But the problem is they don’t work in the long run, because they don’t address the issue of why the elephants are doing this in the first place. By putting up an electric fence, you’re not preventing the elephants from still wanting to get what’s on the other side of that fence. We want to target our mitigation strategies to actually prevent conflict, rather than just keeping elephants and humans apart.

“Elephants are acoustic and olfactory animals, and they use those senses much more than the sense of sight.”

e360: Is there something that we can offer elephants that will induce them to behave as we want them to and to stay out of harm’s way?

Plotnik: Well, we don’t have a great answer for that yet. But the idea is that you first have to identify what the elephants want and need— in some cases it might be access to larger areas of land, it might be access to particular types of food and water, access to mates or other individuals within their social group. What is encouraging them to engage in this risky behavior? If you find out that they don’t have the food they need, or their social group has been disrupted, then you can come up with management techniques that remedy those situations. Wildlife officials could potentially provide elephants with areas of land where high-quality food is made available, or perhaps focus on creating corridors where those elephants are kept away from farmlands.

One thing is certain — if we want elephants to continue to exist in the wild, we have to protect habitat. This is the only solution. We have to make sure elephants have the resources they need to be elephants.

e360: You study elephant cognition and intelligence. We know that they are smart. Do we know just how smart they are?

Plotnik: I’ve been interested in designing experiments that are elephant-specific. One big problem in the field of animal cognition is that experiments are designed largely for visual species, like humans, nonhuman primates like chimps or monkeys, and birds. These species are easier for scientists to access in labs. The design of a problem-solving box or a tool-use task for an experiment is often largely based on paradigms that come from the primate or the human development literature.

The problem is if you give those tasks to animals that rely on non-visual senses, like dogs and elephants, and they don’t do well, it’s very unfair to say that they are not as smart as we are, or they don’t have the same cognitive capacities as we do. Maybe the test just isn’t right for them. It’s not easy for us to put ourselves in the “shoes” of these animals, because we don’t have the same sensory view of the world. Elephants don’t live in the same sensory world as we do. We are highly visual animals. Elephants are acoustic and olfactory animals, and we think they use their senses of smell and hearing much more than they use their sense of sight. One of the ways that elephants communicate, for example, is with infrasound, low-frequency sound that travels through the ground. There is exciting research that shows that they can actually detect this sound with their feet.

We also know that they often make decisions on where to find food with their sense of smell. They may use their trunks as a kind of periscope to locate food sources over great distances. If we can show how exactly elephants make decisions about where to go for food and how to find it, we may come to better understand why they raid crops, for example, and we may be able to come up with better solutions to the human-elephant conflict problem.

e360: What are some of the things that you personally have learned about elephants through your research?

Plotnik: The first study that I did with elephants demonstrated their ability to recognize themselves in a mirror, which we did in New York City at the Bronx Zoo. To date, only elephants, bottlenose dolphins, great apes, and one corvid [crow family] species, the magpie, have passed this test. Mirror self-recognition seems to be connected to the capacity for self-awareness, the ability to recognize oneself as separate from others, which may also relate to empathy, the ability to put oneself in another’s shoes emotionally. Elephants are known to act to help others when they are in need, so this all makes sense.

“The big take-home message is that you have to understand the animal that you are trying to protect.”

The big take-home message here is that you have to understand the animal that you are trying to protect, if you are going to be successful in conserving it. A lot of times these conservation strategies are not successful because they fail to recognize the wildlife’s perspective.

e360: You also work to educate young people about elephants.

Plotnik: Before I joined the Hunter College faculty, I founded a nonprofit called Think Elephants International. We run conservation education programs in the United States and Thailand, and hope to expand to other countries like China soon. We use the study of elephants as a hook to get kids more interested in and to think more critically about science, and to be more conscious about how their decisions will impact the environment.

e360: What has your experience been like with kids in Thailand?

Plotnik: Some of the students we taught come from villages where people have died due to human-elephant conflict. We were running a program in central Thailand, for instance, when a student came up to me and said, “Ajarn [teacher], I love my father very much, but my father is an ivory carver. Is he a bad man?” That was a powerful question. It made me think that we could have a real impact on young people. I told him that his father wasn’t a bad man; he was taking care of his family. I suggested that the young boy think about what he can do himself to help elephants.

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Monday, October 22, 2018

Bangladesh bans use of live animals in election campaign amid pressure


It also banned the use of cloth for making election posters in two changes brought to the electoral code of conduct for the political parties and candidates on Sunday.

The EC added a new section to outlaw the use of animals in campaign following the Wild Life (Preservation) Act and an appeal by the animal rights activists, EC Secretary Helal Uddin Ahmed told reporters.

It amended the definition of poster, by dropping the word ‘cloth’ from the related section, he said.

“There won’t be any bar on digital campaign. But the candidates cannot use live animals on being assigned any animal as logo. And they cannot use cloth to make posters,” he added.

Digital campaign means any digital display, or campaign through things like leaflets made by using electronic devices, according to EC secretary.

“A candidate with elephant logo cannot use a live elephant, but dummies,” he said.

MPs, ministers and people enjoying government facilities will be able to take part in the campaign following the code. “There won’t be any fresh bar on them,” Helal said.

Chief Election Commissioner KM Nurul Huda chaired the meeting attended by three commissioners and senior EC officials. Election Commissioner Mahbub Talukdar was absent as he was abroad.

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Saturday, August 04, 2018

10 kg Of Elephant Tusks Seized In West Bengal, Two Arrested



KOLKATA: Six pieces of ivory, weighing about 10 kg, were seized from two people arrested in West Bengal, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence said in a statement today. The pair was caught near the Tenzing Norgey bus stand in Siliguri and six pieces of ivory collectively weighing 9.9 kg were recovered from them last night, it said.

"Preliminary analysis of the seized tusk indicates that the elephants have been poached very recently," the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence or DRI said.

During interrogation, the two men revealed that the ivory was smuggled from Nepal through Panitanki border.

This is the third seizure of elephant tusks by the DRI this year in north Bengal and Assam.

The DRI had seized 12.4 kg of ivory at Siliguri on February 15 and another 5.8 kg of ivory in Guwahati on May 26 this year.

It had also seized a number of live exotic birds of foreign-origin smuggled into India from Bangladesh in Kolkata.

In May, the DRI had seized two endangered Hoolock Gibbons and two endangered Palm Civets from Kolkata

The agency had also made a seizure of 214 Indian star tortoise in Kolkata in March this year.

Sections 48 and 49 of India's Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 prohibits trade or commerce of wild animals or animal articles or trophies.

Illegal import of wildlife which is in violation of the Wild Life Protection Act also automatically becomes a violation of the Customs Act.

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Rohingya refugees amid human-elephant conflict



Dhaka: Rohingya couple Yakub Ali and Anwara Begum survived the deadly military crackdowns in Myanmar's Rakhine State in October 2016 and August 2017 that left scores of their persecuted community brutally abused and murdered.

They crossed the border into Bangladesh from Maungdaw in October last year with two daughters and a son to find sanctuary at Kutupalong refugee camp in Cox's Bazar, which now shelters about 400,000 Rohingya.

But the family's dream of starting life all over again came crashing down on Jan. 19 when a wild elephant trampled 45-year-old Yakub to death and destroyed their makeshift tent.

"We were woken by the screaming of people nearby and, before we realized what was going on, a huge elephant smashed our tent. My husband died in the attack and I got injured while fleeing with the children," Anwara, 40, told ucanews.com.

Yakub was the sole breadwinner for the family as a day laborer for humanitarian groups supporting up to one million refugees huddled in overcrowded camps in Cox's Bazar.

"Now we are surviving completely on mercy relief from aid groups," Anwara said.

About 300,000 refugees were in the area before August 2016. The two crackdowns forced an exodus of more than 770,000 Rohingya to Bangladesh, according to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR).

The massive influx of Rohingya saw more than 1,200 hectares of forest land cleared for shelters for refugees in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh's most popular tourist destination thanks to the world's largest unbroken sea beach.

Cox's Bazar's Ukhiya and Teknaf subdistricts are known for lush green coastal forests and natural habitats for rare wildlife species including birds and Asian elephants. Ukhiya and Teknaf houses all the refugee camps and they cut through the crossing points and migration routes of elephants from Myanmar to Bangladesh and vice versa.

This human-elephant conflict has seen 13 refugees killed in elephant attacks since August last year, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Clearing of forests for human habitation has endangered wildlife in the area including elephants, according to Ali Kabir, divisional forest officer in Cox's Bazar.

"If you live in an elephant's habitat, the inevitable is not unexpected. Thousands of hectares have been cleared and refugees collect 800 metric tons of firewood from the forest every day. We fear that if deforestation continues at this rate there will be no more forest left out by the end of 2019," Kabir told ucanews.com.

Kabir said the cutting of trees must stop and refugee settlements that blocked traditional elephant migration corridors need to be relocated to keep refugees safe from elephant attacks and deaths.

The UNHCR and IUCN carried out a joint survey covering 70 square kilometers of Cox's Bazar. It revealed a traditional elephant migration route has been completely blocked due to new refugee settlements, and about 35-45 Asian elephants are living in the forest of the southern part of Cox's Bazar. There are about 93 migratory and 96 captive Asian elephants in Bangladesh, and they are critically endangered, according to the IUCN.

"Elephants always follow traditional path for migration, and the blocked crossing point was a bridge for them for movement between Rakhine and Cox's Bazar. Now, elephants are trying to find the lost corridor by entering camps from various sides, and casualties are taking place," IUCN country representative Raquibul Amin told ucanews.com.

The IUCN and UNHCR have formed 30 elephant response teams of 10-12 people in the camps. They are also setting up 92 elephant watchtowers, more response teams and training.

"We have set up 26 watchtowers and others are being constructed. We would like to form 46 teams and offer training to about 500 people," Amin said.

Two persons are on duty at the watchtowers at night and early morning, when elephants usually move, and they warn others when they spot an elephant. Then the team tries to make the elephant return to the forest.

Teams have successfully tackled seven elephant intrusions to the camps in recent months, Amin said.

"This is a temporary solution, and we are not sure how long this protection system can work. We need to work more on it and see if we can come up with a permanent solution," he added.

Panic among refugees over elephant attacks has reduced if not vanished, said James Gomes, regional director of Catholic charity Caritas Chittagong, which is active in refugee camps.

"Even one month ago, people had sleepless nights fearing elephant attacks. They had never faced such a threat and didn't know what to do. The situation is better but refugees are still vulnerable, and more work needs to be done to sort out an effective plan ," Gomes told ucanews.com.

Back at her reconstructed tent in Kutupalong, Anwara Begum says she can sleep well with her children now. "I am less frightened because I know there are guards watching over elephant movements," she said.

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

Elephant kills elderly man in Ctg

Chattogram, July 13 (UNB) – A wild elephant trampled an elderly man to death in Mohammedpur area of Anowara upazila on Friday morning.

The deceased was identified as Abdur Rahman, 70, of the area.

Dulal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Anowara Police Station, said the elephant attacked the elderly man at dawn while he was going to a nearby mosque to perform Fazr prayers.

Saddam Hossain, a member of Boirag Union Parishad, said wild elephants frequently get down from Deang Hill and damaged houses and crops in the area.

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10 kg Of Elephant Tusks Seized In West Bengal, Two Arrested

KOLKATA: Six pieces of ivory, weighing about 10 kg, were seized from two people arrested in West Bengal, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence said in a statement today. The pair was caught near the Tenzing Norgey bus stand in Siliguri and six pieces of ivory collectively weighing 9.9 kg were recovered from them last night, it said.
"Preliminary analysis of the seized tusk indicates that the elephants have been poached very recently," the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence or DRI said.

During interrogation, the two men revealed that the ivory was smuggled from Nepal through Panitanki border.

This is the third seizure of elephant tusks by the DRI this year in north Bengal and Assam.

The DRI had seized 12.4 kg of ivory at Siliguri on February 15 and another 5.8 kg of ivory in Guwahati on May 26 this year.

It had also seized a number of live exotic birds of foreign-origin smuggled into India from Bangladesh in Kolkata.


In May, the DRI had seized two endangered Hoolock Gibbons and two endangered Palm Civets from Kolkata

The agency had also made a seizure of 214 Indian star tortoise in Kolkata in March this year.

Sections 48 and 49 of India's Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 prohibits trade or commerce of wild animals or animal articles or trophies.

COMMENT
Illegal import of wildlife which is in violation of the Wild Life Protection Act also automatically becomes a violation of the Customs Act.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Elephant’s body recovered in Sherpur

Forest officials recovered the body of a male elephant from Gurucharan-Dudhnoi area in Jhenaigati upazila on Thursday.


Being informed by locals, a team of forest department recovered the body around 7am, said Md Ashraful Alam, beat officer of Tawakucha beat of Forest Department in Jhenaigati upazila.


The elephant, aged around 14/15 years, has tusks around one foot, he said.


"The exact reason behind its death could not be known immediately and there was no injury mark in its body," said the forest officer.


The elephant might have died due to indigestion as jackfruit seeds were found in its dung collected from the spot, he added.


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These women fight wildlife conflict in Bangladesh



Twenty-eight-year-old wildlife defenders Zenifar Azmiri and Sahrin Jahan have been woken up more than once in the middle of night.

Their camp in Cox’s Bazar, the largest refugee camp in Bangladesh bordering Myanmar, houses one million Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar.

Last week, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, visited Cox’s Bazar to draw attention to the plight of the Rohingya refugees and urge more support for Rohingya refugees.

Now the refugees face another challenge: up to 45 elephants pass through their camps, situated along the elephant migratory corridors, as they look for food and water.

“Elephants are very intelligent, and will always follow their traditional migratory corridors,” says Jahan. Since the refugee influx began in August 2017, at least 10 people have died in wildlife conflict, including a 12-year-old boy.

A joint United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) survey reveals that frequent elephant movement, mostly along the western boundary, is making refugees vulnerable to elephant invasions and attack.


To read the full article, click on the story title.

These women fight wildlife conflict in Bangladesh



Twenty-eight-year-old wildlife defenders Zenifar Azmiri and Sahrin Jahan have been woken up more than once in the middle of night.

Their camp in Cox’s Bazar, the largest refugee camp in Bangladesh bordering Myanmar, houses one million Rohingya refugees fleeing violence in Myanmar.

Last week, UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, visited Cox’s Bazar to draw attention to the plight of the Rohingya refugees and urge more support for Rohingya refugees.

Now the refugees face another challenge: up to 45 elephants pass through their camps, situated along the elephant migratory corridors, as they look for food and water.

“Elephants are very intelligent, and will always follow their traditional migratory corridors,” says Jahan. Since the refugee influx began in August 2017, at least 10 people have died in wildlife conflict, including a 12-year-old boy.

A joint United Nations High Commission for Refugees and the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) survey reveals that frequent elephant movement, mostly along the western boundary, is making refugees vulnerable to elephant invasions and attack.


To read the full article, click on the story title.

Elephant kills elderly man in Ctg



Chattogram, July 13 (UNB) – A wild elephant trampled an elderly man to death in Mohammedpur area of Anowara upazila on Friday morning.

The deceased was identified as Abdur Rahman, 70, of the area.

Dulal Hossain, officer-in-charge of Anowara Police Station, said the elephant attacked the elderly man at dawn while he was going to a nearby mosque to perform Fazr prayers.

Saddam Hossain, a member of Boirag Union Parishad, said wild elephants frequently get down from Deang Hill and damaged houses and crops in the area.


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Friday, July 06, 2018

Girl killed in Cox’s Bazar wild elephant attack



Cox’s Bazar, June 27 (UNB) - A minor girl was trampled to death by an elephant at Khutakhali area in Chakaria upazila on Wednesday afternoon.

The deceased was identified as Nur Jannat, 11, daughter of Bahadur Haque of Segunbagicha village of the upazila. She was a class four student of a local primary school.

Kutakhali Union Parishad Chairman Mowlana Abdur Rahman confirmed the death adding that the region is a hilly region and most of the people are day labourer there. Attack by wild elephant is a very common incident in the locality.

Eyewitness sources said Jannat and some of her friends went to the forest to bring cows home when a wild elephant attacked them at around 4:30pm, leaving her dead on the spot while others managed to escape the scene.

On information, family members along with the locals rushed in and recovered her body and took her to a private hospital where the doctor declared her dead, sources added.


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Elephant’s body recovered in Sherpur



Sherpur, July 5 (UNB) - Forest officials recovered the body of a male elephant from Gurucharan-Dudhnoi area in Jhenaigati upazila on Thursday.

Being informed by locals, a team of forest department recovered the body around 7am, said Md Ashraful Alam, beat officer of Tawakucha beat of Forest Department in Jhenaigati upazila.

The elephant, aged around 14/15 years, has tusks around one foot, he said.

“The exact reason behind its death could not be known immediately and there was no injury mark in its body,” said the forest officer.

The elephant might have died due to indigestion as jackfruit seeds were found in its dung collected from the spot, he added.


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Elephant tramples minor to death

A minor boy was trampled to death by an elephant at Gangarampur Bridge in Tala upazila yesterday. The deceased was identified as Riyad Hossain, 9, son of Hasan Gazi of the village. Mehedi Russell, officer-in-charge of Tala Police Station, said an elephant, which was tied to a pillar of a bridge. Riyad was among onlookers, observing the elephant.


At that point, the animal wrapped its trunk around the child, and trampled him to death around 8 am, said the OC.However, police could not arrest its mahout as he had managed to flee the scene.

Elephant tramples Satkhira minor An elephant trampled a minor boy to death at Gangarampur Bridge in Tala upazila yesterday.


The victim was identified as Riyad Hossain, 9, son of Hasan Gazi of Gangarampur village.Tala Police Station Officer-in Charge Mehedi Russell said Riyad with others were beholding the elephant, tied to a pillar of a bridge.


At that time, the elephant wrapped its trunk around Riyad, and trampled him to death around 8am, said the OC.
However, police could not arrest the elephant's mahout as he managed to flee the scene.


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Sunday, June 10, 2018

Wild elephant tramples minor boy to death



Sundergarh: In yet another incident of man-animal conflict in the state, a wild elephant trampled a five-year-old boy to death in Kokerema village under Hatibari police limits in the district last night.

The deceased has been identified as Rahul Badaika.

The victim was sleeping outside his house along with the family when the attack took place. A wild elephant which had sneaked into the village in search of food reached near the victim and crushed his head. He died on the spot.

However, rest of the family woke up hearing the screams of the victim and managed to save their lives.

Biramitrapur Forest Ranger reached the spot along with a team of officials this morning and took stock of the situation. He also announced of the compensation under the existing government provision for the victim family.

The incident has left people in a state of panic in the village as a herd of elephant has been seen roaming around the village for past few days.
 

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Wild elephant kills woman in Bandarban



BANDARBAN, June 4: A woman was killed in an attack by a wild elephant in Lama Upazila of the district on Saturday midnight.
The decease was identified as Sakera Begum Pakhi,45, a resident of Paglir Aga, a remote area under Fasiakhali union.
Pakhi's husband was killed in a similar attack by wild elephants 12 years ago.
Quoting local people, police said a wild elephant trampled Pakhi when she came out of her house responding to the call of nature.
Police recovered the body on Sunday morning.


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Friday, May 25, 2018

Rohingya refugees face the rage of displaced elephants



Nobody could have cared less if they were the size of a regular household bull – or at least they would have cared less – but they are not; they are elephants. Some weigh up to 5 tonnes but despite the enormous size, they are easily scared when they see something unusual. Nowadays, these magnificent mammals from the hills of Cox’s Bazar are being scared by the Rohingya camps.

Bangladesh was completely taken aback when the sudden influx began in August 2017.The Rohingya refuges did not care if there was any place for them to live or enough supplies to eat – scared to death, they just crossed the border to flee one of the most brutal ethnic cleansings in world history by the Myanmar government. They were everywhere – paddy fields, roadsides ditches; in fact, they filled up every empty space near the border.

It took the government in Bangladesh several months to recuperate and think of a solution. Around 80% of an official total of 700,000 of the refugees were sent to makeshift camps on the sides of the hills in Cox’s Bazar.

These camps – already among the biggest refugee camps in the world – fall on a major transboundary elephant habitat corridor between Bangladesh and Myanmar. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), there are about 40 elephants in the area and they move between Bangladesh and Myanmar in search of food.

At least 12 people have been killed by different elephant stampedes in the Rohingya camps in Cox’s Bazar since the camps were built.


To read the full article, click on the story title.




Rohingyas rally for elephants


The International Day for Biological Diversity was marked in Cox's Bazar's Kutupalong refugee camp yesterday, highlighting work by UNHCR and IUCN to prevent elephant-human conflict and promoting environmental awareness.

Hundreds of Rohingya refugees volunteering as Elephant Response Team (ERT) members at the vast Kutupalong refugee site took part in a peaceful procession in several areas of the settlement, carrying placards and banners to highlight International Day for Biological Diversity.

The placards and banners, including some shaped as elephants, had slogans reading, “Elephants are the Friends of Nature”, “Save Wildlife, Save Nature” and “Let's Make the World a Greener Place”.

The procession took place on the 25th anniversary of the annual global event, said a press release from UNHCR.

The volunteers were joined by Mohammad Abul Kalam, refugee relief and repatriation commissioner (RRRC); Raquibul Amin, country representative of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); and Ehsanul Hoque, UNHCR environment officer, as well as officials from the Bangladesh Forest Department.

At a meeting after the rally, Abul Kalam praised IUCN and UNHCR for their joint project aimed at reducing incidents involving elephants coming into conflict with refugees.

“To protect us, to survive, we need forests, we need animals. We must understand how important this biodiversity is. Elephants are also part of this biodiverse ecosystem and should be respected,” he added.

Part of the project includes training volunteer Rohingya refugees as Elephant Response Teams (ERTs) to guard the refugee settlements. The project will also work with the local host community.

Since the Rohingya refugee influx into Bangladesh last August, there have been at least 13 deaths resulting from human-elephant incidents in the main Kutupalong-Balukhali refugee settlement.


 To read the full article, click on the story title.





Corridor block compounds man-elephant conflict on border



GUWAHATI: Disruption of traditional elephant corridors and decreasing access to food has compounded the conflict between humans and elephants in areas along and near the Assam-Meghalaya border, forest officials here say.
“A majority of the wild elephants who cross over to the Goalpara forest division near the border are originally from Garo Hills, and with the traditional/regular routes taken by the herds blocked of late because of erection of electric fences in Garo Hills, the elephants have literally no option but to take a detour,” a senior official from the Assam forest department told The Shillong Times on Saturday.
On Friday, a herd of 28 wild elephants had reportedly damaged several houses and destroyed crops in the Dhekiabari area in Krishnai (Goalpara district) near the Assam-Meghalaya border. However, there was no casualty or injury caused to any person.
Forest sources say that unlike Rani and Garbhanga under Guwahati wildlife division, which has a large forest area facilitating better movement of elephant herds, the reserved forests in Goalpara division are smaller and scattered.
“The elephants in these 30 to 40 scattered reserved forests earlier used to migrate to Bangladesh but now they are confined to the border areas of Assam and Meghalaya. Also, most villagers in Goalpara district are taking up large-scale rubber plantation and hence access to food for these marauding elephants has become limited. So, these herds resort to destroying houses and granaries in search of food,” the forest official said.
The herds, he said, generally raid human habitation in search of food during winter. “But of late, there is an apparent deviation and we are noticing a growing trend of elephants raiding human habitation in other seasons as well,” the forest official said.
According to the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (year ended March 31, 2017), close to 10,000 cases of human-elephant conflicts have been reported from Meghalaya in the past five years.
Twenty five persons died, 22 injured and about 4,009 hectares of cropland damaged in such conflicts between 2012 and 2017.
Meghalaya is home to around 1,800 elephants with Garo Hills region alone (including Balpakram National Park), accounting for about two-thirds of such conflicts, the CAG report said.


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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

12 People Died After Elephants Ran Over a Refugee Camp



The elephants were stressed because the refugee camp blocked one of the routes that the animals have been using for centuries.


Twelve refugees were killed after frightened elephants ran over one of the largest refugee camps in the world, the BBC reported.

The animals destroyed many of the homes in a Bangkish camp in Bangladesh.

The problem is that huge refugee camps block elephants' migration routes. Animals get confused and stressed when they deviate from their routes.

The United Nations Association decided to set up observation towers and specially trained teams to guide the animals when they cross the camp. With this, they hope to avoid more death cases among both people and elephants. So far, no elephant has been injured.


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Elephants destroy Rohingya tents in Bangladesh refugee camp



One of the world's largest refugee camps, Kutupalong in the coastal town of Cox's Bazar, has fallen prey to elephant attacks that have caused a dozen deaths over the past six months. The camp is home to 700,000 Rohingya who have fled a brutal campaign of violence in Myanmar. The area around Kutupalong, a natural habitat for elephants, lies on a migration route used by the animals to move between Bangladesh and Myanmar in search of food and shelter. A response programme orchestrated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature aims to warn residents when an elephant enters the camp
Fatal elephant attacks on Rohingya refugees push Bangladesh to act.


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Elephant calf rescued after falling into well in Dhenkanal



Kamakhyanagar: In the latest incident of elephant incursion in Dhenkanal district, a pachyderm calf fell into an abandoned well in Jamujhara village under Kamakhyanagar West Forest Range last night. Forest officials rescued the baby elephant after two hours of Herculean effort.

The incident came to light this morning after some locals heard elephant trumpets and found the calf inside the well after reaching near it. They immediately called up forest officials and informed the matter.

The baby elephant could have been separated from an elephant herd which was seen near the village last night and later disappeared into the forest, said a local. The calf appears to be aged around 2 years, he added.

As per the final report the calf has been rescued from the well with the help of forest officials. It was later released into the Pandua forest after necessary treatment.


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Fatal elephant attacks on Rohingya refugees push Bangladesh to act



Young boy becomes latest in series of casualties at Kutupalong camp in Cox’s Bazar, which lies on migration route long used by elephants.

Bangaldesh has pledged to step up its response to a series of deadly elephant attacks at a refugee camp housing hundreds of thousands of Rohingya refugees after a 12-year-old boy was trampled to death.

Shamsu Uddin died instantly when an elephant attacked him after he had fallen asleep while guarding paddy fields with friends in Uttar Shilkhali village in the coastal town of Cox’s Bazar.


Three days later, a young girl was critically injured when elephants attacked Nayapara refugee camp, to the south of Cox’s Bazar.

Both attacks occurred outside Kutupalong, temporary home to 700,000 Rohingya refugees. The rising number of fatal elephant attacks – at least a dozen in the six months from October 2017 – tell a wider, tragic story of how deforestation, monsoons and the refugee crisis have left some of the world’s most vulnerable people at the mercy of wild animals.

Crowded together on a bare hillside at the mercy of the approaching rainy season, residents of the sprawling Kutupalong camp – mainly Rohingya muslims who have fled a brutal campaign of violence in Myanmar in August – already live in difficult conditions. But it also sits on several important migration corridors between Myanmar and Bangladesh that elephants have used for centuries.


This year, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) began a programme to raise awareness, setting up 56 watchtowers and 30 volunteer elephant response teams to warn residents when elephants enter the camp. As part of the initiative, people are made aware of what they should do if they encounter an elephant.




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Saturday, May 05, 2018

Elephant found dead in Sherpur



Sherpur, May 1 (UNB) – A wild elephant was found dead at bordering Gandhigaon village in Jhenaigati upazila on Tuesday morning.

Md Rafiqul Islam, beat officer of Gazni beat of Department of Forest in Jhenaigati upazila, said locals spotted the elephant 25/30 yards off Gandigaon Bonrani rest house and informed the forest office.

On information, officials of the forest department recovered the body around 7am.

The official said that the body bore an injury mark under its right ear.

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Boy killed in Cox’s Bazar elephant attack



Cox’s Bazar, May 3 (UNB) – A teenage boy was trampled to death by an elephant and two others sustained severe injuries in the attack at Uttar Shilkhali village in Taknaf upazila here on Wednesday night.

The deceased was identified as Shamsu Uddin,12, son of late Aflat Hossain of the village.

Locals said Shamsu along with his two fellows went to patrol their paddy field near their house on Wednesday night.

A wild elephant attacked them around 3:30am while they were sleeping, leaving Shamsu dead on the spot.

His two friends--- Belal Uddin and Rabiul Alam--- were severely injured in the attack. The body was handed over to the family while the injured were admitted to Teknaf hospital for treatment, said Ranjit Barua, officer-in-charge of Teknaf Model Police Station.


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Elephant found dead in Sherpur



A wild elephant was found dead at bordering Gandhigaon village in Jhenaigati upazila on Tuesday morning.

Md Rafiqul Islam, beat officer of Gazni beat of Department of Forest in Jhenaigati upazila, said locals spotted the elephant 25/30 yards off Gandigaon Bonrani rest house and informed the forest office.

On information, officials of the forest department recovered the body around 7am.

The official said that the body bore an injury mark under its right ear.

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Wild elephants rampage through Rohingya refugee camp

Up to 12 people have been killed as wild elephants continue to rampage through a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh.

Twelve Rohingya people have been killed by wild elephants in a refugee camp in Bangladesh over recent months.

Nearly 700,000 Rohingya Muslims fled from Myanmar to Bangladesh since a military crackdown last year.

The United Nations has said the military crackdown could constitute as an "act of genocide".

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Sunday, April 22, 2018

Google doodle celebrates Pahela Baishakh



Dhaka, Mar 14 (UNB) – Search engine giant Google is celebrating Pahela Baishakh, the first day of the Bangla new year, by replacing its regular home page graphic with a special doodle for the Bangladeshi surfers.

Google‘s new Doodle Saturday featured a parade of colorful banners in the shape of an elephant and Mangal Shobhajatra.

The calendar was originally commissioned by Mughal Emperor Akbar who introduced the calendar to facilitate tax collections in the spring—just after the harvest.

Google Doodle is a special, temporary alteration of the logo on Google’s homepage that is intended to celebrate holidays, events, achievements and people. The doodle was introduced in 1998.

Google in its massage said, “Pahela Baishakh is a time to start fresh.”

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Smiles and slapstick as Rohingya refugees learn to corral elephants



KUTUPALONG CAMP, BANGLADESH (AFP) - A trumpet fills the air as two "elephants" charge, scattering Rohingya refugee actors at a training session in a camp which cuts deep into Bangladeshi forest once reserved for the protected species.

Part awareness raising, part pantomime, the scenario uses life-size puppets of elephants made from bamboo and old clothing and expertly propelled by volunteers.

Each charge - and exaggerated counter by bands of Rohingya villagers - draws squeals of delight from the children crowded around a dusty paddy field.

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Sunday, April 08, 2018

For Rohingya refugees fleeing persecution, elephants pose a new threat



As refugee camps in Bangladesh expand into wildlife habitats, a dozen people have been killed by elephants.

When the tarpaulin she was sleeping under started rustling furiously in the darkness, Mustaba Khatun thought it was thieves cutting their way into her shelter on the edges of Bangladesh’s Kutupalong-Balukhali refugee camp, where the city of bamboo and plastic meets the forest.

“We thought someone had come to take our supplies so we rushed outside and that’s when we saw the elephant. Then it charged at us,” she recalled of the night in September 2017, only weeks after she fled a Myanmar military operation that killed an estimated 6,700 Rohingya Muslims.

A child and an adult were killed in that nocturnal chaos, and the community was left with a new fear to live with after a harrowing escape from alleged “systematic killings and rape.” One of Khatun’s neighbors, his own leg still bandaged from falling over as he bolted from the scene, keeps a grisly photo of the aftermath on his phone. Soon afterward, the child’s mourning family decided to move deeper into the camp. Those remaining on the edges formed night watches, monitoring the hills and rallying the neighbors to chase away any elephants that wandered in.

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25 ERTs formed to protect Rohingyas from elephants



The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has formed 25 Elephant Response Teams (ERTs), each made up of 10 Rohingya volunteers, as part of its plan to reduce incidents involving elephants coming into conflict with refugees in the world's largest refugee settlement.

They are being equipped with whistles, torches, and loudspeakers and will work from bamboo watch-towers being established around the refugeesettlement to help guard the site, said the UNHCR.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency is partnering with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Bangladesh to reduce elephants' deaths in the refugee settlement.

Since the Rohingya refugee influx into Bangladesh started, there have been at least 10 deaths resulting from human-elephant incidents in the main Kutupalong-Balukhali refugee settlement.

The highly congested refugee site, which houses around 570,000 refugees who fled Myanmar, used to be forest land but is now crowded with tens of thousands of refugee shelters and services, it said.

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Friday, March 30, 2018

IUCN warns of rise in man-elephant conflict



There is a high risk of elephant encounters in coming days unless immediate and long-term measures are taken, including freeing elephant corridors that have been blocked by the creation of Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. According to experts, human–elephant conflicts in and around the Kutupalong camp will increase if the movement of wild elephants and their migration corridors are blocked for long.

As of January 2018, Bangladesh hosted almost one million forcibly displaced persons from Myanmar, who are meeting their basic needs, such as food and shelter, by using resources from the adjacent forests in Cox’s Bazar. As a result, indiscriminate deforestation is affecting the biodiversity and forest resources in that area, according to a report prepared by the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

The Rohingyas are burning about 50,000 kg of firewood by cutting trees for cooking every day in Ukhiya, Teknaf and Naikhangchhari areas. This is destroying the ecosystem of Cox’s Bazar, forest officials say.

The government has already allocated 3,000 acres of forest to build sheds to accommodate the Rohingyas in and around Cox’s Bazar.

According to a report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), deforestation and degradation of forests due to uncontrolled fuel wood collection could result in an irreversible loss of productivity and extinction of plants and and animals in Cox’s Bazar.

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Sunday, March 18, 2018

UNHCR launches programme to protect Rohingyas from elephant attacks

‘Tusk force’ set up to protect refugees and elephants in Bangladesh

UNHCR and the International Union for Conservation of Nature are working together to mitigate incidents between elephants and humans in the world’s largest refugee settlement.

KUTUPALONG CAMP, Bangladesh – Battered and badly bruised, Anwar Begum, a Rohingya refugee, surveys the damage around her bamboo shelter.

Sleeping mats ripped apart; plastic buckets and even metal cooking pots and plates torn and dented. Her shelter was toppled – but neighbours in Kutupalong refugee settlement near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, have helped her re-erect it.

“I’m very grateful, thanks to the almighty, to be alive,” the 45-year-old said. “But I’m terrified.”

Just a few days earlier, in the middle of the night, a wild elephant entered her small shelter and killed her husband, 50-year-old Yakub Ali. It was one of several elephants that wandered into the camp, damaging shelters and injuring their occupants, following their usual migratory path.

Anwar and her family fled their home in Myanmar six months ago, settling in the vast Kutupalong refugee settlement. “We weren’t aware of any elephant presence here,” she said. “I remember once seeing elephants back home in Myanmar, but in the distance – never close up like this.”

Clearly shaken, Anwar recounted the events that occurred that night. “It was around 1 a.m. I heard a heavy sound and felt the roof falling onto us. It was quick and loud. I started screaming. It all went very fast and my husband was killed”.

Anwar was treated in hospital for three days. By the time she came back to the settlement, neighbours had helped to rebuild her shelter. UNHCR’s partners have now provided her with new household items, and Anwar has received counselling from UN Refugee Agency protection staff.
UNHCR and its partner IUCN – the International Union for Conservation of Nature – have now launched an action plan to try to prevent incidents like this, which have resulted in the deaths of at least 10 refugees, including young children, in Kutupalong settlement.

“This partnership is critical not only to ensure the conservation of elephants, but to protect refugees.”

The highly congested site, which used to be forest land, lies along one of the migratory routes between Myanmar and Bangladesh for critically endangered Asian elephants.

The so-called ‘tusk force’ will work with both the local host community and refugees, in close consultation with the Bangladesh Forest Department and the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner’s Office.

Mitigation plans include installing watch-towers in key spots around the settlement, as well as setting up Elephant Response Teams who can sound the alarm if elephants enter the site. Elephant routes and corridors will be clearly marked, so that people will know which areas to avoid. Campaigns will also be carried out to create better awareness of the risks.

“This partnership is critical not only to ensure the conservation of elephants, but to protect refugees, a number of whom have tragically already lost their lives,” said Kevin Allen, UNHCR’s head of emergency operations in Cox’s Bazar district.

The project is part of a wider initiative by UNHCR and the IUCN to mitigate some of the environmental impacts linked to the establishment of refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar.

Other plans include carrying out environmental education and awareness among refugees and the host communities about the importance of forest resources as well as taking steps to improve the environment in the refugee settlement areas and nearby surroundings.

The project leaders will also advocate for reforestation programmes to ensure that natural resources and a shared environment are better protected.

Your support is urgently needed to help refugee children, women and men in Bangladesh


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At least 10 Rohingyas trampled to death by wild elephants

Wild elephants have trampled at least 10 Rohingya refugees to death in separate incidents, the United Nations said on Tuesday, according to agencies reports.

The reports added, the UN is announcing a new plan to foster ‘safe coexistence’ between animals and sprawling refugee settlements.

Refugee camps have begun to rise alarmingly after around 700,000 Rohingyas fled from Myanmar and settled in Bangladesh’s border area of Cox’s Bazar, including Kutupalong which now holds the distinction of being the largest refugee camp in the world.

The United Nations refugee agency said the threat from elephants had emerged as a new concern as wild elephants in search of food often attack these refugee camps smelling food.

Notably, the area now occupied by the Kutupalong refugee settlement was an important habitat for Asian elephants for quite some time.

Reports quoted an UN agency report as stating that there are about 40 elephants in the area and they move between Bangladesh and Myanmar in search of food.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), agencies reports said, has announced partnering with International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), which has experience in Bangladesh helping people live alongside wild elephants.

The plan includes imparting training to the refugees to emergency response during elephant attacks.

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U.N. tries to protect refugees from deadly elephant attacks

Rohingya refugees who escaped horrors in Myanmar face another threat in Bangladesh: wild elephants. Refugee camps in the country are located along migratory and feeding routes for the animals.

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Friday, March 16, 2018

Rohingya influx deals blow to Bangladesh’s wild elephant population

The influx of the displaced Rohingya has a dealt a double blow to the wild elephant population inhabiting Bangladesh’s Chittagong region.

Shortage of food and destruction of habitat forced the elephants to venture out, leading to clashes with humans. Five elephants have been killed between November 21 last year and January 22 – three of them from electrocution and landmine-related injuries.

Conservationists say elephants are known as ecosystem’s engineers and gardeners since they play a vital role in forest enhancement by disbursing seeds and creating an environment for germination.

Elephant dung plays a crucial role in nutrient cycling by providing nutrients to the soil that is ultimately used by the flora. It is also a good source of food for many insects, experts say.

Since the latest spell of Rohingya crisis, Myanmar security forces planted landmines and erected barbed wire fence along its border with Bangladesh, obstructing the trans-boundary migratory routes of the giant mammals.

On the other hand, shelters set up for the Rohingya – which led to the destruction of 4,000 acres of forestland – also blocked the wild elephants’ routes. The Rohingya are destroying forest resources to meet their daily demand of firewood of 800 tons.

Obstruction of the passages and destruction of forests have forced elephants to seek alternative routes and triggered crop-raiding incidents.

Nearly 690,000 Rohingya escaped to Bangladesh after Myanmar security forces launched a brutal ‘clearance operation’ targeting the minority in last August. Another 100,000 Rohingya had crossed the border earlier following violence in the Rakhine state in October 2016.

The presence of the huge number of people and encroachment of forests has made the wild elephants more desperate in their search for food and water. Between September 17 last year and January 19, seven Rohingya were trampled to death by wild elephants in Ukhiya and Balukhali refugee camps.
But as many as five wild elephants have also been killed in the last three months.

“Unnatural death of an adult female elephant is a great loss since she is a repository of traditional knowledge, including the migration routes,” wildlife biologist Dr AHM Raihan Sarker told the Dhaka Tribune.

He said the wild elephants turned violent as they were pushed to the limit.

“The trans-boundary corridors (Balukhali-Naikhyangchhari-Myanmar and Balukhali-Ghundhum-Myanmar) turned dangerous for the migratory elephants as Myanmar security forces planted landmines along the borders,” he noted.

“Besides, routes used by the elephant have been blocked to make space for refugee camps,” he added.
Elephants consume equivalent to 1.5% of their body weight every day and usually the quantity of fodder ranges from 135kg to 300kg for adults, the expert said. The wild elephants invade crop fields as they are an easy source of food.

“It is natural for the farmers to protect their crop from raiding animals. But it is the responsibility of the forest officials to keep a strict vigil to avert any casualty of wild animals,” he said.
He suggested adopting an action plan urgently to save the mammals.

Ishtiaq Uddin Ahmed, a former country representative of the IUCN Bangladesh, said elephants were among protected animals under the Wildlife Act, adding that the forest department should investigate the repeated incidents of death of the wild elephants.

Eminent wildlife conservationist Reza Khan cited a study which showed that the elephants naturally browse on at least 50 species of plants and eat fruits of over a dozen trees.

Deforestation and changing patterns in forestry created a severe shortage of food for elephants and other animals.

He said many people had encroached on forest lands and occupied routes used by elephants. The illegal land occupiers sometimes use electrical fences and poison-laced food items to deter elephants raiding their crops or dwellings, the former IUCN member said, demanding punishment for the offenders.

“Rampaging wild elephants entering human settlements should be tranquillized and moved to remote areas where there are existing elephant populations,” Khan told the Dhaka Tribune. “To reduce human-elephant conflicts, the government must ensure sufficient supply of food and water inside the forest.”

When contacted, Md Jahidul Kabir, conservator of forests (wildlife and nature conservation circle), said they were going to undertake a special project in consultation with the IUCN.

Wildlife biologist Raihan said wild elephants played a significant role in protecting natural forests, adding: “The conservation of elephants should be a mandatory task to ensure their survivability.”

Dr Anisuzzaman Khan, biodiversity researcher and chief adviser to Isabela Foundation, said, “People all over the world keep a close eye on the state of tigers and elephants. Infrastructural development of a country becomes meaningless and the country suffers from an image deficit if tigers or elephants meet unnatural death.”

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