GPS collaring operation of elephants

UntitledIn the second phase of GPS collaring operation of elephants, a female elephant from a herd has been collared in Sarpang making it three elephants to be collared so far. The other two elephants were collared in Samrang village in Jomotsangkha Wildlife Sanctuary in March 2014. In all, it is planned to collar six elephants along the elephant belt in Southern Bhutan, viz. Samtse, Lhamoizingkha, Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary, Sarpang, Royal Manas National Park and Samdrup Jongkhar area.

This telemetry study through the use of GPS collars has been initiated with the objective to bring to light besides others, the movement patterns and the choice of habitat of Asian elephants in Bhutan. This study will also help in understanding the root cause of human elephant conflict by understanding their dietary patterns and also their migratory routes.

The collaring program is led by Mr.Sonam Wangdi, Chief Forestry Officer of Samtse Forest Division with technical support from the Human Wildlife Conflict Management Section of Wildlife Conservation Division and logistical support from field staff of Samdrup Jongkhar Division, Sarpang Division, Phibsoo Wildlife Sanctuary, Samtse Division and Royal Manas National Park.

Overall technical supervision is provided by Professor Raman Sukumar of the Indian Institute of Science who is a leading elephant biologist renowned globally.

The tranquilization and darting expertise is provided by Mr.Kuenzang Gyeltshen and Mr.Tsencho Tshering of the Wildlife Rescue and Animal Health Section of the Wildlife Conservation Division.

The program has been supported by the Joint Support Program of the UNDP and Danida and the Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation.

Submitted by: Samtse Forest Division

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