Research and monitoring:Geographical information system (GIS) technology was used to map the protected area network in this landscape and identify important wildlife corridors for elephants and tigers. Patterns of human-tiger conflict and human-elephant conflict were also documented, which helped in preparing effective management plans. In May 2011, an occupancy survey for elephants and tigers was initiated in the protected areas of the landscape, and assistance was provided to the forest department during the 2010 tiger estimation exercise.
Strengthening protection:In 2007, the installation of a wireless network was supported in North and East Karbi Anglong, Garampani, Nambor and Marat Longri Wildlife Sanctuaries. The establishment of wireless communication networks, to facilitate communication amongst the frontline staff, in the Lumding Reserve Forest (a part of Dhansiri-Lungding Elephant Reserve), is in the final stage. Logistical support such as field gear including backpacks, water bottles, raincoats, shoes, winter jackets, torch lights and tube wells have been provided to the frontline staff based on requirements since 2008. Capacity-building workshops on wildlife monitoring, wildlife crime control and use of advanced technology are organized regularly for the forest department officials. Roadside signage has been put up around Marat Longri WLS to bring in awareness about the protected area.
Restoring habitat:A participatory plantation programme was initiated in the degraded wildlife habitats of Dolamora area in collaboration with the forest department and local communities. WWF-India also regularly participated in plantation activities organized by the forest department, such as the Integrated Greening Programme in Marat Longri WLS in 2010 and the rejuvenation of the greenery of Dhansiri Reserve Forest in 2012. Over 10,000 saplings were planted under such programmes.
Engaging with communities:Successful conservation initiatives require the support and involvement of local communities. For this, regular awareness meetings and workshops for villagers and school students are organized. Activities such as exposure trips to Kaziranga National Park and industrial parks help communities to understand the importance of conservation initiatives and increase community engagement. Trips are also organized to Community Conserved Areas (CCAs) in Arunachal Pradesh to motivate local communities in Karbi Anglong by exposing them to community initiatives towards conservation.
Managing human-wildlife conflict:Members of local communities are trained to form Anti-Depredation Squads (ADS) in villages to ward off wild elephants straying into agricultural fields. Eighteen ADS have been created in different ranges of this landscape, which are equipped with searchlights and firecrackers to scare away elephants and reduce conflict with humans. Short-term human-tiger conflict measures such as providing interim relief to victims of tiger attacks are being implemented since 2008.
Promoting sustainable livelihoods:Local communities in Silimkhowa and Engjai Gaon villages along the Kanchanjuri corridor have been involved in training programmes and workshops on participatory planning and development to assess gaps in development interventions. A socio-economic profiling of this area revealed gaps in sustainable development of the fringe village communities, which are being addressed in a phased manner. Sericulture has been introduced as a pilot project in these villages. Drinking water supply has also been provided in one of the project villages.
WWF-India will continue its efforts towards conservation in this landscape by expanding research and monitoring activities for the documentation of key wildlife species. Long-term land use plans; at least for the important wildlife areas of the landscape will be prepared. Strengthening protection in wildlife habitats, WWF-India will continue to organize capacity-building workshops and training programmes for frontline forest staff and other enforcement agencies, as well as provide critical need-based infrastructure support to protected areas. Community engagement initiatives will be expanded to include more fringe villages to promote sustainable livelihood options and encourage support towards wildlife conservation initiatives.