School outreach event on the occasion of World Elephant Day-2022
Happy World Elephant Day! Being the ecosystem engineers, they are crucial to ecosystems beyond their majestic presence and the conservational efforts these species can have protective effect on all other species who share their habitat.
In India, elephants are forced out of their habitat due to the rapid fragmentation of forest cover for agricultural, infrastructural and development needs. This has left elephants with the lack of disconnected corridors and has led to negative interaction of elephants with the humans (human-elephant conflict), which could be challenging to increase people’s tolerance for coexistence.
On the occasion of World Elephant Day 2022, the WRCS team held a school outreach event at the Pansoli Range Office in collaboration with Kali Tiger Reserve (KTR), where students of Government Primary School, Virnoli were invited to be a part of the event. To start off, three camp elephants were decorated and worshiped to honor their contribution towards shaping the forest. Forest department discussed the concerns regarding elephant conservation and their change in foraging pattern along with the elephant crop raiding issue in this region.
In parallel, a sketching contest for students was organised, to express kid’s ideas about elephants and wildlife. Interesting facts about Asian elephants were also presented by the WRCS team, which included elephant subspecies, physiological characteristics, food habits and their distribution range in India. The kids were also engaged in various elephant-themed activities/games such as puzzles (map of elephant distribution in India), wildlife memory, scramble and connecting the dots.
The region around KTR is well known for suitable habitats for elephant and also for human-elephant conflict incidences (specially elephant induced crop damage). WRCS has been working in this landscape for almost a decade to control human-elephant conflict through Community Based Conflict Management (CBCM). Such school outreach events, being one of the objectives of CBCM, will help grooming and raising awareness among young minds to create a sympathetic attitude towards the wildlife.