Home » Initiating community conservation in the Trijuga forest

Initiating community conservation in the Trijuga forest

Empowering community, planning ahead to avoid human-wildlife conflict

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Project Overview:

Our project, supported by Community Conservation Inc., aims to address the conservation challenges faced by the Trijuga forest, an important wildlife habitat located on the border of Udayapur and Saptari districts in the southeast region of Nepal.

The Trijuga forest, covering an area of 430 sq. km, is a semi-isolated forest patch within the Churia region. Despite its significance as an important wildlife habitat outside of protected areas, this forest has received little conservation attention, which poses a threat to its conservation importance.

Many threatened wildlife species, such as Asiatic elephant (Elephas maximus), sloth bear (Melursus ursinus), common leopard (Panthera pardus), gaur (Bos gaurus), and Chinese pangolin (Manis pentadactyla) have been recorded in the Trijuga forest.

The region is home to various threatened wildlife species, including the Asiatic elephant, sloth bear, common leopard, gaur, and Chinese pangolin. However, the forest is surrounded by extensive agricultural lands and human settlements, leading to frequent conflicts between local communities and wildlife. Crop raiding by elephants, wild boars, and rhesus macaques, livestock depredation by common leopards, and human-wildlife conflicts are major issues in the Trijuga forest periphery.

To address these challenges, our project focuses on

  1. Promoting sustainable use and management of forest resources while considering wildlife ecology and implementing conflict mitigation measures.
  2. Generating baseline information on wildlife diversity, ecology, and conflict scenarios through community-assisted camera trapping, we aim to enhance the understanding of Trijuga forest’s wildlife.
  3. Building the capacity of local community forest user groups. We will provide training and resources to six community forest user groups in wildlife monitoring and research techniques.

Our project will empower the local stakeholders to actively participate in wildlife conservation efforts and contribute to the development of appropriate wildlife-friendly forest management practices.

Through our camera trap survey, we will collect valuable data on wildlife species present in the Trijuga forest. These survey results will be disseminated among the local communities, forest user groups, and relevant stakeholders. By sharing reliable scientific information, we aim to increase awareness and promote the adoption of improved wildlife-friendly forest management practices.

Our project hopes to promote harmonious coexistence between local communities and the rich wildlife that calls this forest their home.


Project Update 1: Introductory meeting with local CFUGs and FECOFUN Udayapur

The team behind the “Initiating Community Conservation in the Unprotected Trijuga Forest, Udayapur, Nepal” project recently held a successful introductory meeting with crucial stakeholders in Udayapur. This meeting, held on December 6th at the FECOFUN Udayapur office, served as a platform to introduce the project, discuss its objectives and activities, and gauge local interest in collaborative conservation efforts.

The project team met with representatives from Community Forest User Groups (CFUGs) and the Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN) Udayapur. The response was overwhelmingly positive, with CFUG members expressing their excitement about the project and its potential to protect the Trijuga Forest, a vital haven for biodiversity.

Key Highlights from the Meeting:

  • Camera trap training: CFUG members were particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of camera trap training, recognizing it as a valuable tool for monitoring wildlife populations and identifying threats within their forest area. They eagerly expressed their desire to participate in training and deploy camera traps in their forest to gather valuable data.
  • Collaborative spirit: A strong sense of collaboration permeated the meeting. CFUGs and FECOFUN Udayapur representatives pledged their support for the project and demonstrated their willingness to work hand-in-hand with the project team to achieve its objectives.
  • Formalizing collaboration: Recognizing the importance of a strong partnership, the project team is actively working to formalize a collaborative agreement with FECOFUN Udayapur. This agreement will pave the way for coordinated efforts and ensure the long-term success of the project.

Moving Forward:

Camera trap training workshops: Building on the CFUGs’ enthusiasm, the project team will prioritize conducting camera trap training sessions in the near future. This training will empower CFUG members to collect valuable data on wildlife populations and contribute meaningfully to conservation efforts.

Community engagement: The project team will continue engaging with local communities through workshops, awareness campaigns, and other initiatives to build a strong foundation of support for conservation activities.

Data analysis and action: Data collected through camera traps and other monitoring methods will be carefully analyzed to identify key conservation priorities and inform future actions.

The “Initiating Community Conservation in Trijuga Forest” project is off to a promising start, with the enthusiastic participation of local stakeholders and a clear commitment to collaboration. By working together, the project team and the community can ensure the sustainable conservation of the Trijuga Forest and its diverse wildlife.


Project Update 2: First Wildlife Monitoring Training in Gaighat, Udayapur

We are excited to share a recent development in our “Initiating Community Conservation in the Unprotected Trijuga Forest, Udayapur, Nepal” project: a successful Wildlife Monitoring training held for community forest user groups (CFUGs) in Gaighat, Udayapur in 28 January, 2024.

Reaching out to the community:

The one-day training, organized by Saraswati CFUG and led by their president, Dipak Bantawa, gathered 31 participants from 11 different CFUGs. Joining them was the esteemed vice-president of the Federation of Community Forestry Users Nepal (FECOFUN) Udayapur, demonstrating the strong regional support for this initiative.

Community members checking out the function of camera traps.
Our team helped the community forest user group members with setting the camera traps.
A job well done! Community forest user group members successfully set up their first camera traps.
Local community conservation projects from eastern Nepal presented by Birendra Mahato, president of Community Conservation Nepal.
Looking at global examples of community conservation by Dr. Teri Allendorf, executive director of Community Conservation Inc.
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Community members checking out the function of camera traps.
Our team helped the community forest user group members with setting the camera traps.
A job well done! Community forest user group members successfully set up their first camera traps.
Local community conservation projects from eastern Nepal presented by Birendra Mahato, president of Community Conservation Nepal.
Looking at global examples of community conservation by Dr. Teri Allendorf, executive director of Community Conservation Inc.
previous arrow
next arrow

Knowledge & Skills for Effective Monitoring:

The training program provided participants with valuable knowledge and practical skills in wildlife monitoring, focusing on camera trapping:

  • Global Perspective: Dr. Teri Allendorf, Executive Director of Community Conservation Inc., shared insights from successful community conservation projects worldwide, inspiring local efforts.
  • Local Focus: Birendra Mahato, President of Community Conservation Nepal, presented the ongoing work of both organizations in eastern Nepal, highlighting the relevance to the Trijuga region.
  • Wildlife Expertise: Nischal Kunwar from NCSC introduced the diverse wildlife inhabiting Nepal’s lowlands, raising awareness of the species participants might encounter.
  • Hands-on Learning: The core of the training involved a practical session in the Saraswati Community Forest. Participants were divided into small groups, received hands-on experience with camera traps, and learned about their deployment strategies and considerations.

Community-Led Action:

The training concluded with a collaborative discussion on scheduling camera trap deployments in each participating community forest. Excitingly, the trained participants, along with their fellow CFUG members, will take the lead in conducting camera trapping activities, supported by our team.

Impact & Significance:

This training empowers local communities to actively participate in wildlife monitoring within their own forests. By collecting data and gaining insights into local wildlife populations, communities can make informed decisions regarding conservation efforts and contribute significantly to the project’s goals.

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