Addressing landscape connectivity

Why is this project so important?

Asian elephants have undergone drastic declines across their range. They face numerous threats, but a major and growing risk in many range countries is the construction of roads, railways, and transmission lines. This linear infrastructure cuts through elephant habitat, fragmenting it into ever smaller pieces, and breaking the connectivity between the habitat corridors that remains. Roads, railways and power lines also put elephants at risk of collisions with vehicles and electrocution from fallen cables. Hundreds of thousands of kilometres of new linear infrastructure are due to be built by 2030, making international guidelines on how to best plan and mitigate infrastructure developments an urgent priority.

Project Partner: Asian Elephant Transport Working Group

Duration: 2018 – Present

Project goal: To establish the Asian Elephant Transport Working Group, and develop internationally recognised guidelines and targets for infrastructure development and mitigation

Elephant population across all range countries: approximately 47,000

What we do:

Elephant Family is supporting the creation of an expert working group to ensure that habitat corridor connectivity and wildlife-friendly developments are prioritised during infrastructure construction. The Asian Elephant Transport Working Group (AeTWG) will develop internationally recognised guidelines for governments and financial investment institutions, and will be a source of expertise, support, case studies and technical information. The AeTWG will leverage their leadership within the IUCN’s existing working groups on habitat connectivity and transport to promote these best practices at the highest level: targets and guidelines will be prepared in time for the next setting of targets for the Convention on Biodiversity in 2020.

December 2018: ‘Ensuring connectivity for the Asian elephant’ an interview with Rob Ament, co-founder of the AeTWG