Feb 2013

Go MAD 2013 raised funds for The Shola Trust, a conservation organisation based in Gudalur working to understand human – elephant conflict in the area.

Funds raised through Go MAD have been used to support the following activities over the last year :

  • Talking/interviewing people across the region to understand conflict and tolerance to animals; how they managed to live along side each other in the past and to see if any of this can be relevant in a more ‘modern’ context.
  • Helping local villages and large estates understand how elephants move around/in their lands and make ‘human-elephant coexistence plans’, possibly by cordoning off some areas while also allowing elephants to move through others.
  • Setting up camera traps to let local people see (and hopefully get excited by) animals on their lands, be more tolerant on them. We’ve got four camera traps, and they are being used in various estates at the moment.
  • Working with local panchayats, forest and revenue departments to coordinate efforts on issues of human-wildlife interactions.
  • Making lots of maps – where people get injured or killed, where elephants come regularly, how they move through the landscape, where the concentration of houses are etc. This is being used to look for broad scale patterns/trends to see if anything can be done at that district level.
  • Photographing and identifying individual elephants to understand how different individuals behave.
  • Setting up an SMS based early warning system to alert local villages when elephants approach the village. We have two engineers in Trivandrum working on this, and hope to launch it in March.

The Shola Trust blog has some posts by Ramesh and Arun:

The problems with elephants in thorapally, at the border of mudumalai – http://www.thesholatrust.org/the-elephants-in-thorapally/

The camera trap work – http://www.thesholatrust.org/camera-trap/

And a meeting with Panchayats – http://www.thesholatrust.org/elephants-panchayats/

The Shola Trust thanks everybody involved with GoMAD last year for supporting their work and making the tour a grand success!