KVIC Project RE-HAB in Assam to Prevent Elephant – Human Conflicts
- KVIC India has launched “Project RE-HAB” at Village Mornoi in Goalpara district of Assam, an area which is severely affected by recurrent elephant-human conflicts.
- Assam has the vegetation of dense forests wherein a large part of the state is infested by elephants.
- Between 2014 and 2019, the state has witnessed 332 human deaths due to elephant attacks.
- Prior to Assam, KVIC India had successfully implemented this innovative project at four locations around village Chelur in the Kodagu district of Karnataka on 15th March 2021.
Elephant-Human Conflicts in India
- Elephant-human conflict happens due to a loss of habitat and fragmentation.
- Nearly 500 people die annually due to elephant attacks in India which is approximately 10 times more than the fatalities caused by big cats across the nation.
- From 2015 to 2020, nearly 2500 people have lost their lives in elephant attacks.
- On the other hand, around one-fifth of this number, i.e. some 500 elephants have also died in retaliation by humans in the last 5 years.
- In fact, this issue is a great threat to biodiversity conservation, and therefore the management of such conflict is a primary goal for elephant conservation while also ensuring safety of people.
About Project RE-HAB
- Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) launched this innovative “Project RE-HAB” to mitigate human-elephant conflicts in the country with the use of “bee-fences”.
- The Project aims to prevent elephant attacks in human habitations using honey bees and thus reduce the loss of lives of both, humans as well as elephants.
- It is scientifically proved that elephants are annoyed by honey bees.
- Under RE-HAB, “Bee-fences” are created by setting up bee boxes in the passageways of elephants to block their entry into human territories.
- The boxes are connected with a string, so when elephants attempt to pass through, a tug or pull releases the trapped bees which in turn swarm the elephant herds and dissuade them from progressing further.
- KVIC has developed this cost-effective technique to reduce human-wild conflicts without causing any harm to the animals.
- Elephants fear that the bee swarms can bite their sensitive inner side of the trunk and eyes which makes this technique uniquely effective as the collective buzz of the bees forces them to return. "