Elephant traffic lights, India

In 2021, A Rocha India developed an early warning detection device to alert motorists of elephant movement on public thoroughfares and installed ‘smart’ laser fences at three points along the Kaggalipura Road within a protected area of Bannerghatta National Park. When an elephant crosses the road and triggers the laser, signal boards begin to flash to indicate the presence of elephants – an innovative traffic light!   

Due to the system’s success in Bannerghatta, the Kodagu Circle (Karnataka Forest Department – about four hours away) asked A Rocha India for a demonstration of the fences. With 80% of its land covered by trees, Kodagu is one of India’s most densely forested districts and the smallest of all Karnataka State districts. Humans accidentally encountering elephants in the area is a significant issue, often resulting in human and elephant casualties. A Rocha India was able to share with Kodagu forest staff about the importance of addressing elephant-vehicle collisions and how this can contribute to the conservation of Asian elephants in South India.  

There is further interest from other parts of the state to use the system. A Rocha India welcomes the opportunity to promote elephant conservation work and replicate it in other Indian landscapes.  

Want to support elephant conservation for Christmas? Through Gifts with a Difference, you can purchase an Elephant Crossing to help ensure the safety of people commuting on these roads and of elephants as they move between their habitats. 

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