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Protecting Asian Elephants from Linear Transport Infrastructure

Throughout its range in Asia, the Asian elephant is running out of space and time due to expanding human population and developmental needs. Elephant habitats and corridors are being increasingly fragmented and degraded due to expanding linear infrastructures like railway, roads, canals and power lines leading to increased human-elephant conflict. This has also resulted in death of large number of elephants and other wild animals due to collision. India for example has lost a minimum of about 340 elephants by train hit since 1987 and Sri Lanka has reported about 122 elephant deaths by train hit between 2005 and 2018 alone. Large number of elephants death also reported due to electrocution and road hits. With more such linear infrastructures being built across the Asian elephant ranges, the threat to habitat and functional connectivity has increased many folds.

Realizing the need to address the issue, the IUCN’s SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group and IUCN WCPA Connectivity Conservation Specialist Group has jointly formed the Asian Elephant Transport Working Group that worked towards advancing solutions for avoiding and mitigating the threats of linear transport infrastructure to Asian elephants and has come up with the publication “Protecting Asian Elephants from Linear Transport Infrastructure”.


The Asian Elephant Specialist Group (AsESG) is a global network of specialists concerned with the study, monitoring, management, and conservation of Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) in its 13 range states