2019— Ongoing

D’ering-Dibru Saikhowa Elephant Corridor Project

Arunachal Pradesh and Assam

Key details

About the project

Photo gallery

Key species

2019— Ongoing

D’ering-Dibru Saikhowa Elephant Corridor Project

Arunachal Pradesh and Assam

Key details

Aim of the restoration project

Securing wildlife habitats, protecting ecological connectivity, biodiversity monitoring, community engagement The project aims to secure the connectivity for elephants and other key wildlife between D’ering Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh and Dibru-Saikhowa National Park in Assam in partnership with local community and forest department by setting aside and restoring critical part of corridor land as Community Reserve.

What was the condition of the land before restoration? And what are the past and current disturbances?

Patchy and degraded forest, with ongoing disturbances such as a transient landscape with river Brahmaputra changing its course, indigenous nomadic communities, livestock grazing, annual floods, alien species invasion.

What are the restoration activities that were/are being carried out?

In the first phase of restoration undertaken in the project area in 2021, 50 hectares of degraded land was identified within the corridor to be restored through plantation of mid-late successional tree species. A total of 44382 saplings of 31 tree species, representing 27 genera and 20 families were planted. Hand-weeding was done to remove undesired (alien) plants from the planting landscape. Any chopped vegetation (weeds) was removed from the planted landscape. This method was designed to mimic the weed control methods used by forest managers in the field. For all species, the average survival percentage of saplings after one year of planting was 42.07%. We planted individual level contributions of saplings with an average value of 3.22 percent across all species to preserve biodiversity in the restoration design and ensure that no one species could dominate others. Out of the total tree species, 29% of species had a high survival rate, 45% had a medium survival rate, and 26% had a low survival rate. With the assistance of local communities and watchers, the plantations are being protected. The designated guards belong to the local communities and keep an eye on the restoration area and protect it from trespassers and cattle. In order to discuss regional conservation concerns, the guards regularly conduct village coordination meetings.

Biodiversity assessment of the restored sites is also carried out and information collated along parameters indicating health of the forest ecosystem. This serves as an indicator to measure the success of the restoration work done and how this is facilitating connectivity for wildlife

Other activities: Dung encounter rate monitoring for assessing elephant movement patterns, assessing survival rate of saplings, setting permanent plots for long-term ecological monitoring, documenting the biodiversity, community support, awareness campaigns, capacity building for forest department staff

Area of the project

500 hectares targeted area of community forest lands, with 200 hectares targeted for restoration


Arunachal Pradesh and Assam


108 -147 m

Annual rainfall

3000 mm


7°C to 35°C

About the project

One of the most important elephant landscapes of India is in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh supporting over 25% of the 27000 odd elephants currently present in India (MoEFCC 2017). However, the landscape is also dominated by enormous human populations which have resulted in degradation and fragmentation of the elephant habitats and escalated human-elephant conflict. One of the vital corridors in this landscape of the 18 corridors in Assam and Arunachal Pradesh is the D’ering-Dibru Saikowa Corridor connecting elephant populations of Pasighat and D’ering Wildlife Sanctuary in Arunachal Pradesh with Doomdooma Forest Division and Dibru Saikowa National Park, Assam supporting approx. 450-500 elephants.

Human settlements, biotic pressure and increased human elephant conflict in the corridor called for a need to secure this corridor on priority. WTI’s work is helping to secure this corridor with local community and State Forest Departments since 2019 by ‘Connecting Landscapes, Empowering People and Protecting Elephants’. This will involve setting aside critical part of corridor land as “Community Reserve” (CR), restoring degraded corridor habitats, sensitizing locals and garnering their support for wildlife conservation, providing green livelihood options to local communities, building capacity of and empowering the management authorities, managing Human-Elephant Conflict situations and deploying local community based organizations as Green Corridor Champions. The aim is to create a win-win situation for elephants, locals and administrative authorities in the landscape.
In its 3 years of functioning the project has achieved the following successes:

  1. Approximately 1200 hectares of community forest land committed for protection as Community Reserve
  2. Over 600 families from beneficiary villages benefitted from enhance livelihood activities
  3. 50 hectares of degraded forest lands restored in efforts to enhance ecological connectivity of the landscape
  4. Equipment support in form of sleeping bags, field bags etc provided to frontline staff of D’ering Wildlife Sanctuary and Dibru Saikhowa National Park
  5. Human elephant conflict (HEC) mitigation strategies implemented in the landscape by providing immediate relief to affected local communities, solar fence installation to reduce crop raiding and formation of local response teams for safe passage of elephants



Get in touch

Team: Sunil Kyarong, Sheikh Marifatul Haq, Upasana Ganguly
Deepankar Barman, Dindi Padi, Zane West, Biswajit Borduli, Jibon Chhetry
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