NWA launched a technology-based project in December 2019 that enables park officials to catch poachers red-handed, force prosecution and discourage wildlife poachers using snares.
The latest among informed and multi-faceted anti-poaching interventions, the trial project underway at a confidential location uses innovative devices developed by NWA over months of technology trials and years of field observations.
Snares have a devastating impact on wildlife, killing or maiming or killing large animals like elephants and gaur and smaller mammals like wild boar and deer on a large scale in and outside protected areas. NWA’s ongoing capture/recapture elephant census programs have produced grim evidence– more than 5% of all elephants photographed had terrible injuries from snares. http://www.naturewildlifeassoc.org/programs/ https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/01/170123162250.htm
Currently, poachers caught with snares can be prosecuted only if they have a dead animal with them, since snares are not considered as weapons. As a result, there are only very few prosecutions today.
However, the situation is expected to radically change at NWA’s latest technology trial site since park officials there can now gather irrefutable evidence of poaching and force more prosecutions.
NWA is currently developing and testing methods for large scale, sustainable removal and control of invasive plants like Chromolaena Odorata, Lantana Camara and others.
This project includes authorities, scientists and local communities.
Providing tools for invasive plants control
NWA has started an initiative to collect all available methods used in HEC mitigation from throughout the world. These methods will then be independently evaluated:
All acceptable and effective methods should the be compiled into a comprehensive toolbox from which individual HEC mitigation plans for each area can be developed.
Cost efficient HEC mitigation toolbox
To reduce Human Elephant conflict within any elephant range NWA is assessing carrying capacities and ways to improve.
Ideally carrying capacity should be at least 3 times actual population size, to get there food, water and safety for wild elephants have to be evaluated; improvements can come from removal of invasive plants, creation of additional grasslands, grassland maintenance, creation of additional water sources removal or at least reduction in disturbances like traffic, cattle raising, mining and other human activities from the elephant habitat areas.
NWA works closely with all relevant authorities and other NGOs.
NWA provides an assessment of habitat carrying capacity
NWA selects, equips and trains local volunteer teams and officials in Quick ID, Soft Mitigation, Safety procedures and GPS tracking.
NWA also provides assistance for fuel, and material for watchtower construction and basic food like instant noodles etc.
These professionally trained teams with comprehensive local landscape knowledge are the key in mitigation of Human Elephant Conflict.
NWA equips elephant teams with:
- Walkie Talkie
- Small back pack
- Rain coat
- Safety equipment
Training local people to mitigate Human Elephant Conflicts (HEC)
NWA is using large numbers of camera traps placed in strategic positions determined by careful study of the habitat areas.
Collected photographs will be evaluated using NWA’s Quick ID method.
The result is a comprehensive catalogue of the elephants present in a certain habitat as well as seasonal patterns and other data.
Capture/recapture is usually conducted in collaboration with authorities and other NGOs like Freeland foundation.
NWA’s roles are:
- Providing camera traps
- Quick ID evaluation and training
Efficient elephants surveillance in conflict areas
NWA designs and builds effective early warning alarm fences to be used by professionally trained elephant teams.
These alarm fences are cheap, easy to set up and operate and are proven to be highly effective when operated by elephant teams.
Set up along forest/protected area edges, the alarm alerts the elephant teams. They will then push the elephants back immediately before they can enter farmland or villages.
Efficient low cost elephant alarm fences