Human – Elephant Coexistence (HECx)

A sensitisation program on Human Elephant Coexistence (HECx) was conducted by a Coimbatore based Non Governmental Organisation (NGO), Zoo Outreach Organisation (ZOO), for the Journalists of Sathyamangalam and nearby areas on January 20, 2024.

Around a dozen number of Journalists from BBC, SUN TV, Thanthi TV, Dinakaran, Maalai Malar, Kaalai Kathir, DInamani, Polimer TV, Puthiya Thalaimurai TV, ETv, Internees from The Kovai Herald participated in this workshop held at Sathy. Media students, research scholars and Professors from the Department of Communication, PSG College of Arts & Science, Department of Visual Communication, Govt. Arts & Science College, Sathy also participated in the workshop.

DR. Jayaprakash. C.R, Associate Professor & Head, Dept. of Communication at PSG College of Arts & Science, Coimbatore briefed the participants of the workshop about the difference between the Conflict and Coexistence in case of elephant intrusions inside villages and small towns. He quoted Zimmerman’s (2020) three levels of tolerance by humans to Elephants intrusions and the ways to deal with it. He also stressed the fact that there is no single point solution or one model for all landscapes. People need to understand that both the species have to share the land and resources, which they have been doing from ancient times. Mitigation measures can be developed by involving the community in important activities, following science and research backed procedures. He also cited with examples of how media coverage could bail out certain issues in conservation.

DR. Ramakrishnan.T, Head of the Department of Wildlife Biology, Govt Arts and Science College, Ooty made a vibrant presentation on the behavioral qualities of Asian Elephants and its distribution in Western Ghats. He stressed the need for protecting the Migratory paths and Corridors to reduce the conflict. His field based research in Nilgiris Biosphere Reserve was explained with adequate visual and statistical analysis. He also stressed on the importance of field based tracking of wild elephants to study on their foraging behaviour. His explanation of elephants food/fruit consumption, its fermentation of seeds inside the 200 mtrs long intestine – easing of seeds germination and dispersal in a different areas was well received by the participants.

DR. Sivasubramanian, Head of the Dept. of Wildlife Biology at Kongunadu Arts & Science College, Coimbatore explained the details of his research based field works on Human Elephant interactions in the villages of Sathyamangalam in Erode District. He explained about the relationship between the feeding behavior and crop patterns cultivated in the agricultural fields of Sathy. He showed examples of good and bad mitigation measures. He stressed the need for a community based maintenance of trenches and Solar powered Electric fences in the conflict zones.

Dr. Jayaraj, Head, Department of Visual Communication at Govt. Arts & Science College, Sathy made a brief mention about his experiences with Media and Human Animal interactions.

A concept poster on Human-Animal Coexistence, designed by the Eco Club of PSG College of Arts & Science was released in the workshop by the Projects Officer of ZOO, Mr.Marimuthu.

Mr.Marimuthu also announced that a similar workshop for the journalists of Theni and Cumbam Valley in Tamil Nadu is scheduled by ZOO on January 27, 2024 at Rajapalayam with support from Wildlife Association of Rajapalayam (WAR).

Mr. Sakthivel from Sathy Environment and Wildlife Association (SEWA) who jointly co-ordinated the event with ZOO thanked all the media persons and budding journalists for their active participation.

Representatives of NGO’s from Aware Trust, Chennai, Jungle from Sathy also participated in this workshop.

2 thoughts on “Human – Elephant Coexistence (HECx)

  1. Additions, Clarifications, Suggestions and Corrections welcome. The author can also be contacted through Mobile: 9894259100 for participation in similar events on Environmental Communication.

  2. I would like to thank all participants and organisers. My students are grassroots stakeholders and good beneficiaries of this program theme. We have a better awareness on HECx theme at my college. Many students are facing such interactions on a day to day basis as a part of the forest community. Hence we will conduct similar programs and deliver the information, and get better feedback from their dwelling sites.

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