Minister for Road Transport & Highways and of MSME, Shri Nitin Gadkari has hailed Khadi and Village Industries Commission’s (KVIC) innovative Project RE-HAB, which has significantly reduced elephants’ presence at four places in Karnataka’s Kodagu district. Shri Gadkari said the project has yielded very encouraging results in preventing elephants’ movement into human territories in Kodagu. He said Project RE-HAB has huge potential and it will soon be replicated in all states, affected by elephant attacks like West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. He also emphasized on participation of the Ministries of Agriculture and Environment and Forest for effective implementation of the project across the country.
Project RE-HAB (Reducing Elephant – Human Attacks using Bees) was launched by KVIC Chairman Shri Vinai Kumar Saxenalast month, at four locations on the periphery of Nagarhole National Park in Kodagu district of Karnataka. It is a unique, cost-effective way of preventing elephant – human conflicts without causing any harm to both, the animals and the humans. Under this project, bee boxes are used as a fence to prevent elephants from entering human habitation, thus reducing loss of lives and property.Elephants fear that the honey bees might sting them in their eyes and the inner side of the trunk. Also, the buzz of the bees irritates the elephants the most.
Bee fences have reduced the movement of elephants at these points to a great extent. Night vision cameras installed at these locations have captured amazing footage of elephants’ behaviour on seeing bee boxes. A number of elephants are seen returning to the jungles fearing honey bees. Also, no destruction of crops or property by elephants has been reported in these areas since the bee boxes have been placed on the passageways of elephants.
KVIC Chairman ShriSaxena said implementing Project RE-HAB in other states will save hundreds of human and elephant lives. He said that “KVIC is set to replicate the project in other states, too, where a large tribal and rural population is living under the constant threat of wild elephants. Project RE-HAB will have multi-pronged benefitslike reducing human-elephant conflicts, increasing farmers’ income through beekeeping, addressing climate change and regenerating forest cover”.
States like West Bengal, Jharkhand, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, Assam, Tamil Nadu and Kerala are major elephant – human conflict zones where KVIC is planning to implement Project RE-HAB in a phased manner. Approximately 2400 people have been killed in conflicts with wild elephants across the country since 2015.
KVIC Chairman said that through this project, the locals residing in these areas will be trained for beekeeping and provided bee boxes which will be used to ward off the wild elephants.
Sequence of Elephants’ Movement at four places of Pilot Project
- 01.03.21 –09.03.21 – Daily movement of elephants but not entering human areas
- 10.03.2021 – 15.03.2021 – No movement of elephants
- 16.03.2021 – Elephant movement detected but not entering human area
- 17.03.2021 – 25.03.2021 – No elephant movement detected
- 26.03.2021 – Elephant movement detected. Elephant returns quickly on noticing bee box
- 27.03.2021 – 29.03.2021 – No elephant movement
- 30.03.2021 – Elephantmovement detected. Elephant senses presence of honey bee and returns quickly
State wise Death of Humans (2014-15 to 2018-19)