Case Study: Elephant Tracking Made Easy: Living Together with Humans and Animals


This case study explores Hathi Dal, a community-based elephant tracking initiative that prioritizes human-elephant coexistence without relying on mobile applications. Hathi Dal, meaning “elephant herd” in Hindi, empowers local communities to become active participants in elephant conservation.


  • Human-Elephant Conflict: Similar to the previous case study, elephants and humans compete for resources, leading to conflict.
  • Limited Resources: Communities residing near elephant habitats often lack access to technology or resources for traditional tracking methods.
  • Building Trust: Fostering trust and collaboration between communities and conservation authorities is crucial.


  • Community Training: Hathi Dal trains local residents to identify elephant tracks, dung piles, and feeding patterns.
  • Foot Patrols: Trained community members conduct regular foot patrols within their territories, recording elephant activity.
  • Data Sharing: Information gathered on patrols is shared with a central hub managed by conservation authorities. This allows for:
    • Identifying elephant movement patterns.
    • Implementing early warning systems to alert communities of approaching elephants.
    • Deploying anti-poaching patrols in response to suspicious activity.
  • Incentive Programs: Hathi Dal offers incentives, such as microloans or educational opportunities, to encourage community participation.


  • Empowered Communities: Hathi Dal empowers local communities to take ownership of elephant conservation efforts.
  • Cost-Effective: This approach avoids expensive technological solutions, making it sustainable in resource-limited areas.
  • Improved Communication: Direct communication between communities and authorities strengthens trust and collaboration.

Case Study: The Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, India

Hathi Dal has been successfully implemented in the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary in India. Trained villagers record elephant activity, allowing park rangers to anticipate elephant movements and prevent human-elephant conflict. This collaborative approach has fostered a sense of responsibility within communities, leading to a significant decrease in crop damage and retaliatory killings.

Challenges and Considerations:

  • Scalability: Expanding Hathi Dal to larger areas might require additional resources for training and data management.
  • Data Accuracy: Standardized training and data collection methods are crucial to ensure the accuracy of information gathered by communities.
  • Addressing Root Causes: While Hathi Dal promotes coexistence, long-term solutions require addressing habitat loss and human population growth.


Kalpvaig Hathi Dal demonstrates the power of community engagement in elephant conservation. By empowering local residents and fostering collaboration, this approach offers a sustainable and cost-effective way to promote peaceful coexistence between humans and elephants.