GVI Thailand

Domestic Thai Elephant Forest Habitation Community of Huay Pakoot

Quarterly Report 003 April - June 2011

Global Vision International 15-08-2011 Report Series No. 003

GVI Thai Elephants Programme Report 003 Submitted in whole to:

GVI & Josh Plotnik, Ph.D. Dept. of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge

Produced by Jeff Smith – GVI SE Asia Projects Director Amy Quandt – GVI Thai Elephants Base Manager Sateesh Venkatesh – GVI Thai Elephants Volunteer Leader And
Charlotte Grace Erik Jenita Jamie Antonio David Eleanor Sabina Lee Sarah Venkatraman Humphreys Brynjolfsson Smith Gillispie Arca Fancsali Paul Abdushi Lovo Cain Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Michelle Tania Kayleigh Clare Ella Nicola Scott Alexander Benjamin Tanya Jenna Hennessy González Deutsch Vining Hawke-Floyd Trayte McInnes Herbert Herbert Barnes Bates Keany Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer Volunteer

GVI Thai Elephants Email: Jeff.Smith@gviworld.com Web page: http://www.gvi.co.uk and http://www.gviusa.com

© GVI –Huay Pakoot Village, Chiang Mai, Thailand April – June 2011

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Executive Summary
This is the third quarterly report summarising the work being done on the GVI Thai Elephant Project, which has been in operation since July 2010. The programme has effectively allowed a herd of 5 domestic elephants to live in the forest. The programme has maintained working relationships with local communities by providing both alternative livelihoods for mahouts and home-stay families as well as English classes in the village. The programme continues to work towards monitoring the social and physical health of our herd whilst working with the local community to increase scope involving more elephants.

The working title for this project’s main area of focus has been changed during the last quarter to more precisely reflect the work being done. The formerly titled Thai Elephant Forest Reintroduction Program is renamed the Domestic Thai Elephant Forest Habitation Program. The following projects have been run during Phase 003:

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Elephant Forest Habitation Program General Biodiversity Survey in the Forests Surrounding Community of Huay Pakoot Providing Alternative Livelihoods for Elephants, Mahouts and the Local Community Community Development and English lessons in Community of Huay Pakoot

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Table of Contents

Executive Summary
Table of Contents List of Tables

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3 4

1. Introduction 2. Domestic Thai Elephant Forest Habitation Programme
2.1 Introduction 2.2 Aim 2.3 Methodology 2.3.1 Elephant Health Checks 2.3.2 Elephant Food Field 2.3.3 Introduction to Our Elephants Presentation 2.3.4 Elephant Info Wall 2.4 Results 2.4.1 Elephant Management 2.4.2 Elephant Health Checks 2.4.3 Social and Foraging Behaviour Studies 2.4.4 General Biodiversity Study 2.5 Discussion

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6 6 7 7 9 10 11 11 11 12 12 13 13

3. Alternative Livelihoods for Elephants and Mahouts, Community Development and English Teaching
3.1 Introduction 3.2 Objectives 3.3 Activities and Achievements 3.3.1 Restarting English Teaching 3.4 Review

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14 16 16 16 17

4. References

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5. Appendices
Appendix A. Existing Methodologies A.1 Elephant Management A.2 Social and Foraging Behaviour Studies A.3 General Biodiversity Study Appendix B. Elephant Health Check Form Appendix C. Sample Scan Sampling Data Sheet Appendix D. Sample Continuous Sampling Data Sheet Appendix E. Sample Biodiversity Data Sheet Appendix F. Continuing History of Achievements F.1 Community development - generation of more local business F.2 Provision of free English classes in the local community

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22 22 23 25 26 27 29 31 32 32 33

List of Tables
Table 1-1. GVI Forest Habitation Herd, June 2011 Table 2-2. Social Elephant Behaviour Continuously Sampled 11 25

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1. Introduction
The Domestic Thai Elephant Forest Habituation and Alternative Livelihoods Programme, located in Huay Pakoot Village, Mae Chaem District, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand has now completed its third period of operations. The programme to date has assisted the local community in keeping the GVI herd of 5 elephants living in the forest, and is successfully monitoring the physical and social health of the herd, and foraging habits of the elephants. Methodologies continue to be improved and focused as experience is gained and improvement to data quality is continuous. Much credit is due to Dr Josh Plotnik of Cambridge University for his continued assistance in developing the programme’s elephant behaviour observation methodologies. Thanks is also due to Dr Grishda of Elephant Vet Aid Outpost and John Roberts of Golden Triangle Asian Elephant Foundation. This program has profound implications for ethical and sustainable elephant management in Asia, as it displays a reversal in trends of urbanization and mahouts seeking more extreme and less natural circumstances for their elephants in search of livelihoods. Here we have mahouts returning to their village and rekindling the traditional elephant management of the past. A little known and unfortunate truth is that captive elephants are not sustainably breeding under current mainstream management practices. Working elephants often find themselves living in harsh conditions. By changing these circumstances, bringing the elephants back into the forest, this project is keeping hope alive for the survival of this incredible yet endangered species.

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2. Domestic Thai Elephant Forest Habitation Programme
2.1 Introduction Asian elephants (Elephasmaximus) are listed as threatened and endangered on the IUCN Red List. In Thailand, typical of all Asian elephant range states, they are enduring a massive population collapse. Despite the legal protection for wild elephants under Thai law, there are is virtually no protection for the captive population. There could be less than 1000 wild and about 3000 captive elephants left. With the status of the wild population widely unknown and at risk, many experts now look to the larger captive population with hope for the survival of this species.

Karen villagers have been keeping elephants for generations, but now in the modern context they are very expensive to properly care for. Logging was their main occupation in recent Thai history, until a ban was placed in 1989 due to intense deforestation. This led mahouts to seek work in tourism. Elephant tourism is an unregulated industry and unfortunately in a struggle to compete for tourist dollars, elephant care is sometimes neglected. Circus shows push elephants to the limit with new tricks to attract tourists. Suffering perhaps the worst fate are elephants brought to beg on city streets.

In the Karen village of Huay Pakoot there exists a tradition of bringing their elephants home and releasing them in the forest to allow them to forage on natural vegetation. These traditional mahouts understand such practice is good for their elephants’ health. This same sentiment is echoed by Marshall (1949): It is axiomatic that the nearer a captive animal’s living conditions can approximate to those of its wild cousin the fitter it will be. 2.2 Aim The GVI domestic Thai elephant forest habitation program aims to reintroduce elephants to the forests surrounding the community of Huay Pakoot, under direction of the local community, while providing for the livelihoods of mahouts, elephants, and members of the community.

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2.3 Methodology It must be understood that for hundreds of years, generations of mahouts have been releasing generations of elephants into the forests surrounding the community of Huay Pakoot. Mahouts and elephant owners understand this practice is beneficial to the elephants’ health. This traditional practice of forest reintroduction typically lasts several days to several months, but is not seen as permanent. The starting point for methodology thus originates with traditional local elephant-keeping culture. All forest walks with elephants are lead by a GVI staff member who is responsible for data collection by the volunteer team. They are to ensure accurate data is effectively being collected, and the staff member reviews each data sheet with the recorders before signing them. Unsigned forms are assumed to have poor data and are discarded. Later the data is input to the GVI computer on base by the recorder, and this process is overseen by a separate GVI staff member assigned to base duties that day. The base staff member reviews the digital data and signs the corresponding data sheet, rejecting any data that seems unclear or improperly input to the computer. This independent data review system is followed for all studies on this programme whenever possible. Detailed existing methodology is described in Appendix A: Existing Methodologies. New activities and changes to methodologies are described in the following sections. 2.3.1 Elephant Health Checks To better monitor the elephants’ health, more detailed elephant health checks are conducted by the volunteers, more frequently. Biometric data measurements are no longer performed. Every Tuesday and Thursday health checks are conducted to monitor the heath and well being of the elephants in the GVI program. The Health Check forms were devised in late March by Intern Jonathan Borradaile with the assistance of Amy Quandt, Base Manager. The purpose of the health checks is both to continually monitor the health of the herd as

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well to provide a concrete record of elephant health in case of serious future illness. Health checks take place during and after the hikes and are performed by volunteers on their assigned elephants. The health check form is divided into parts and used as a check list defining the important characteristics to be examined during the checkup. A sample form is included as Appendix B: Elephant Health Check Form. The feces section of the form is filled out during the hike directly after the occurrence, while all other checks are done after the hike while the elephant is feeding on grass provided. At the end of the hike volunteers wait for the elephants to be tethered for the night and fed grass before approaching. Close contact with the elephants is only done under the close and attentive supervision of the mahouts.

One health check form is used for each adult elephant, at the bottom of which the volunteers performing the checks write their names and the date. Any problems or additional information is written down in the notes section of the form. Feces are checked directly after defecation during the hike and only when the subject can be identified. Volunteers search around in the feces with either a stick or gloved hand for proper inspection. The feces should be in nice round boluses and if not this could be a sign of dehydration or intestinal problems. Any blood found in the feces is bad and is recorded. Large amount of soil in the feces is noted and may represent a lack of nutrients that the elephant is trying to balance. Large amounts of mucous coating the dung is a sign of stomach or intestinal problems. When looking through feces volunteers check for long thin worms. Feces that are very dry are a sign that the elephant could be dehydrated or constipated. After the elephants have been tethered the volunteers check the overall condition of the elephant, including the top, stomach and bottom. Biting flies and large insects about 2cm long are identified by volunteers and pointed out to mahouts to remove. Any bad smell coming from the elephant, other than natural elephant smells, are noted on the sheet as they can be signs of intestinal problems. If the elephant is blowing or scratching repeatedly in a certain area it is noted as a sign of irritation.

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Specific checks are then done on the eyes, mouth and feet of the elephant. High proportions of older captive elephants are blind, possibly caused by debris irritating the eye then the elephant rubbing it with their trunk. Thus when checking the eyes it is important to note any debris found and any cloudiness in the eyes. While the elephant is eating grass it is easy for volunteers to do a check of the mucous membrane in the mouth including tongue and lips. All elephants should have a light pink colored mouth and any deviation from this color is noted.

Elephants can weigh up to seven tones delivering substantial stress to their feet. During the health checks volunteers check the toenails of the elephant for any cracks or broken nails. During the hike volunteers check the soles of their elephants’ feet for any blisters or sores that they can see. The sweat glands of elephants are found only around the toenails and should be noted as a sign of hard work. 2.3.2 Elephant Food Field Elephants spend up to 20 hours a day foraging and eating up to ~200 kg of food day. For the period of time after the health checks when the elephants reside by the village they are tethered for their own safety and must be provided food. Every Tuesday and Thursday large amounts of tall elephant grass is cut from the sides of the road and driven by pick up back to the village. To simplify this process and create an independent supply of food an elephant food field has been created below base hut. It is hoped that once the grass has been fully established there will be a readily accessible and replenishable source close to the village. The field size is approximately 8m across and 20m in length and located on the hill below base hut. The land for the field was first cleared of any brush with machetes and hoes. Then under the management of an intern Erik Vidalin a fence consisting of wooden posts and barb wire was constructed to keep out buffalos and cows. With the assistance of the

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mahouts along with many volunteers holes were dug about 6 in depth and in rows extending the length of the field. During the first Tuesday and Thursday morning following the preparation of the field grass roots were collected by the mahouts. These grass roots, sometimes including the base and the stem were then planted by volunteers in the field after the proper method for planting was demonstrated by the mahouts. The grass is watered after planting using buckets, and repeated whenever there is a lack of rain. When needed the field is weeded by volunteers to allow the grass space to grow. After one field has been established it is the goal to have around 4 additional fields in the area below base hut. With the fields producing enough grass to provide food for our elephant herd every Tuesday and Thursday.

2.3.3 Introduction To Our Elephants Presentation Additional training has been formalized and added to the volunteer program to help volunteers more quickly and effectively learn about the elephants on project and successfully identify the elephant to which they are assigned. After arriving on Sun, Monday morning each new volunteer on project meets their assigned elephant and mahout who they will get to know throughout their stay. The morning before volunteers go for the first time to feed their elephant, a presentation is given specifically about identifying our elephant herd. This presentation teaches the volunteers first about the names of each of the elephant along with their mahout companions. The presentation provides a short life history of each elephant and their mahouts. Key defining characteristics are given for each elephant so when collecting data volunteers can tell them apart. Thong Dee’s easy defining characteristics are a very wrinkly body and ears that hang like tattered curtains. Also smaller features like little hair on her tail with loose skin around the base as well as a large abscess on her right front leg are other identifying characteristics. For Mana, long hair under her chin as well as uneven hair on her tail is used to identify her. Mana can also be identified by her nice untattered ears. Boon Jan can be best identified from the front by a hanging bit of skin on her right ear and from the back by her

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tail that has lots of hair even on both sides. In addition the presentation talks about the two baby elephants and how to identify them and who they are related to. All of the information in this presentation is reconfirmed later when the volunteers meet their elephants in person. 2.3.4 Elephant Info Wall To provide readily available elephant information volunteers have constructed a fact wall at base hut. The information for this wall comes from important or interesting information extracted by volunteers from reading articles and scientific papers. Thus far the wall contains information about the history of Asian elephants, the matriarch’s significance in a herd, the trunk, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder theory, and the Super powers (special senses) of elephants. In addition to knowledgeable facts the wall includes entertaining pictures to make the wall more appealing. It is the goal to continue to add to the wall as more information is acquired.

2.4 Results 2.4.1 Elephant Management

The project continues to host 5 elephants supported directly and independently by GVI, to live out their days in the forest. The current GVI Forest Reintroduction herd is listed in Table 1.1, below.

Elephant’s Name Ma Na Pee Mai Boon Jan Song Kran Tong Dee

Approximate Age 38 yrs 3.5 yrs 18 yrs 1 yr 54 yrs

Sex F M F M F

Table 3-1. GVI Forest Habitation Herd, June 2011

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Many elephant owners have expressed interest in joining the GVI forest program, which indicates successful recruitment of elephant owners and promotion of alternatives to mainstream elephant management. The project continues to seek additional partners and funding sources to increase support for alternative elephant management by members of the community. During this quarterly period the chief has kept one new elephant mother and her calf in the forest and community, and is welcoming to eco-tourists to visit and fund that elephant’s keep. 2.4.2 Elephant Health Checks

During this 3 month period volunteers have made 27 health checks, successfully monitoring the health of the GVI herd. Health Check Forms are collected and stored on base and organized in log books for each elephant. 2.4.3 Social and Foraging Behavioural Studies The programme has successfully studied the foraging and social behaviour of the herd, following the methodology explained with this report. All quantitative data is presented to Dr Plotnik along with this report.

GVI volunteers and staff were able to observe a bulk of qualitative social data within the forming elephant herd. There have been several instances of trunk touching, vocalization, and other social activities amongst the elephants. Any social activity at this point is being taken as a good sign, as these elephants had not been part of natural social units before entry to the programme in 2010, due to a differences in elephant management strategies in their previous lines of work. Very little social conflict has been observed. Tong Dee has often stood out as a less social elephant, choosing to keep to herself and wandering away from the herd once untethered, although during this quarter she has welcomed advances from both unrelated infants, Pee Mai and Song Kran. On more than one instance the entire herd was seen to display social behaviour as a group, such as squeaking and trunk touching in close proximity to each other.

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2.4.4 General Biodiversity Study Many species have been documented. All biodiversity photos to date have been compiled into logical categories and stored on the base computer.

2.5 Discussion The third phase of the project has enabled the community of Huay Pakoot to continue their domestic elephant forest habitation programme in and around the community, by providing basic funding and hands-on support. Throughout this period, 5 elephants have participated in the programme directly supported by GVI, and one new mother and calf are taking a break from working in tourist camps. GVI staff and volunteers have been able to support the mahouts provide basic care by conducting health checks and feeding the elephants. The studies, although continuously developing, indicate the elephants are showing some social and foraging behaviour as expected of natural social groups. Participation by elephant owners is stable and the potential to recruit more elephants and owners is high. It is the intension that over the long term other funding sources will be found to support the existing herd of 5, and perhaps more importantly, to increase the size of the GVI forest habitation herd by bringing more elephants back from working camps. The programme must find more diverse funding sources beyond just volunteer fees to increase sustainability and to responsibly plan for the long term wellbeing of this herd. In the next phase this project will continue to develop relationships with additional partners and seek additional funding sources.

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3. Alternative Livelihoods for Elephants and Mahouts, Community Development and English Teaching
3.1 Introduction After a logging ban in 1989, most elephants and mahouts in Thailand found themselves out of work and struggling to support themselves. Many have now sought work in tourist camps. These camps typically involve a combination of elephant rides and circus shows. The methods used to train elephants are often painful and the shows themselves can be culturally demeaning. Taxi elephants giving rides wear heavy benches and carry tourists for up to 6 hours a day. This can lead to serious back problems. Working also leaves little time for calf rearing, mating or socialising with other elephants. Elephant tourism is an unregulated and competitive industry. This has meant that the quality of life for elephants and mahouts often suffers as a result. New tricks are introduced at different camps to attract more business, which means additional and more complex training for the elephants. “It is impossible to over emphasize the damage brought to elephants by the shortage of well-paying, humane work.” Richard Lair, United Nations Forestry and Agriculture Organization, 1997 The mahouts are entrusted with caring for this endangered species, but they are at the bottom of the management chain in many camps. This means they often have little say as to how the elephants are treated or the activities they endure. The mahouts themselves live for many months away from their families and sometimes must go on working without being paid. The village of Huay Pakoot is a traditional Karen community and very family orientated. Young mahouts living far from home experience a number of social problems as a result. GVI began providing alternative livelihoods for elephants and mahouts as of July 2010 through the domestic Thai elephant forest habitation programme. By providing funding the

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project has helped give alternative work to originally 8 elephants in the programme, and later to solely and directly fund 5 elephants remaining in the programme. This means the elephants and mahouts no longer have to work in tourist camps and are exploring alternative elephant management practices. The elephants roam the forests surrounding the community and the mahouts provide them with daily care. The mahouts’ role has shifted away from entertainment and towards that of educators. The mahouts can live with their families in the community and are also central to the running of the project. Their opinions about elephant care and where elephants should roam is paramount to the programme.

A key focus of this programme is community development as the support of the community is central to the success of our project. The community of Huay Pakoot is two hours from Mae Hong Son, the nearest major tourist location and is largely unaffected by tourism. Many of the villagers have had little or no interaction with foreign visitors, except mahouts who work in tourist camps. GVI began bringing volunteers to the village in July 2010. Local villagers are benefiting by opening their homes as home-stay lodgings for GVI personnel and other visitors. They provide food and accommodation for the volunteers. This provides an alternative income and also the opportunity to learn about other cultures. This project is encouraging a number of new businesses to develop in the community, specifics of which are provided in the following sections. Every week volunteers take part in a planned session discussing ethical elephant activities, where they are encouraged to think of ways in which the community could benefit from our project and alternative strategies for elephant’s to generate revenue. These ideas are passed on via several formal and informal channels to eventually be discussed at the monthly community meetings hosted by the chief. Mahouts and the Karen community in general have a low social status in Thailand. Speaking English is one way to elevate this social status. It can also improve employment opportunities. English lessons provided in Thai state schools are often underfunded and struggle for sufficient personnel and resources. In a bid to gain the support of the local community and show that volunteers are not just tourists but people who want to make a

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difference, GVI began providing free English classes to villagers in July 2010. These were firstly offered to one member of each home-stay family to enable them to be the point of contact for volunteers staying in their homes, as well as the mahouts. The villagers seem to appreciate English classes from a native English speaker. 3.2 Objectives 1. 2. 3. Provide alternative livelihoods for mahouts, elephants and the local community Develop alternative strategies for mahouts and elephant owners themselves to Build capacity in the local community to independently manage small businesses

generate revenue related to elephant management

and effectively secure additional revenue from tourism and GVI personnel as a result 4 Provide free English lessons to local partners and community members, aiming to support their capacity building and also elevate social status associated with English fluency in Thailand

3.3 Activities and Achievements Continuous achievements which have been ongoing and unchanged since previous periods of operation are described in Appendix F. Any changes to activities are described in detail in the following sections. 3.3.1 Restarting English Teaching GVI personnel began providing free English classes to adults and children in the local community in July 2010. English teaching was stopped temporarily during the 1st quarter of 2011. A complete history of activities can be found in Appendix F. In early June 2011 GVI resumed free English lessons at the school in Huay Pakoot. This school is run by the Thai government and teaches Thai as the main curriculum. The teaching method used was designed by GVI staff member Sophie Lemberger who began teaching in May of 2010. The TEFL teaching method being used is designed to teach English without any knowledge of the local foreign language thus is able to be taught by

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any volunteers interested. By using lesson plans designed by Sophie the teaching is consecutive and organized. Before teaching at 1:30pm the volunteers plan what will be taught that day during the lesson. This is then written down on a set form where it can be referenced during the lesson if needed. The theme of the lesson is followed in order of the lesson plans but the vocabulary and the method in which it is introduced is decided by each of the volunteers. First during the lesson new volunteers will introduce themselves to each of the students in turn having them say their names aloud. Next volunteers review any vocabulary that was introduced in the previous lesson concentrating on topics that were identified as needing more practice. Often standard repetition is used to start the new material followed by games or a fun activity to keep the students interested. Following the completion of the material for the day if there is time left volunteers play a fun game as a way of positively reinforce English teaching as a enjoyable activity to be looked forward to. Some games that have been introduced with great success are Simon Says and Duck Duck Goose. Following the lesson volunteers debrief by identifying on the planning sheet anything that needs to be continued in the next lesson and anything that was particularly successful.

3.4 Review During the third phase the project has achieved the following with regards to our community development objectives: Objective 1: Provide alternative livelihoods for mahouts, elephants and the local community The project has created a number of business opportunities for the local community including home-stays, laundry services, providing transport for volunteers, giving basket weaving workshops, and selling traditional Karen products. There is a shop selling fruit shakes and fresh coffee. The villagers produce many non timber products including traditional Karen clothing and bags. These are very popular amongst volunteers and the villagers are beginning to see potential business opportunities arise as a result.

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The project aims to encourage the villagers to set up a local shop selling their produce which could attract business from tourists passing through the area. There are three small shops in the village which already benefit with business from GVI personnel. Business could be expanded by selling more goods that are used on the project on a regular basis. By bringing volunteers into the village the project has been successful in establishing alternative livelihoods for mahouts, elephant owners and elephants. The funding provided by volunteers has provided a different source of revenue other than from conventional means in the elephant tourism industry. The project aims to maintain this during the next phase, and also to expand funding sources and opportunities for elephant owners and mahouts. At this stage there are many elephant owners eager to join the GVI forest habitation programme, but funding from volunteer fees alone is limited and more sources are needed. Objective 2: Develop alternative strategies for mahouts and elephant owners themselves to generate revenue related to elephant management

During this phase the project has been successful in maintaining the support of the mahouts and elephant owners. They continue to prove a willingness to try alternative elephant management strategies. The project aims to develop further strategies in which the mahouts and elephant owners can generate revenue related to elephant management. This could include bringing more of their elephants into the forest habitation programme, providing transport so project personnel can cut grass for the elephants to eat or by providing land on which food can be grown for the elephants. The project does not intend for volunteer participation, alone, to ultimately provide the sole alternative income for elephants and mahouts. Additional options for revenue to elephant owners and mahouts will be explored as the project matures.

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Objective 3: Build capacity in the local community to independently manage small businesses and effectively secure additional revenue from tourism and GVI personnel as a result During the third phase of this project, GVI continues to establish the trust and interest of the local community. It has taken time to show villagers the potential to develop and independently manage small businesses from which they could generate additional revenue from tourists and volunteers alike. Volunteers are supporting local businesses by purchasing snacks and other items from the three local shops. Handmade traditional Karen clothing made by the villagers has proven to be very popular amongst volunteers. Volunteers have also suggested many services, workshops and goods they would be happy to pay for in the village. During this phase a team of volunteers and staff produced a short promotional video focusing on traditional life in the community. The video is not branded as a GVI promotional tool, but rather left open for use by any interested parties. This can be used to promote ethical tourism in the community and also to educate visitors about local customs. DVD copies of the community video are shared with community members with the release of this report, and a link to the community video is also shared online.

During the next phase the project aims to continue to support members of the local community who wish to establish new businesses. The project also aims to encourage villagers to set up a local community shop selling local produce managed by the villagers themselves. Community members who offer eco-tourist visits to support alternative elephant management strategies will receive open offers of support from GVI personnel. GVI will continue to seek out Thai organizations and individuals able to promote ethical business in the community of Huay Pakoot.

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Objective 4: Provide free English lessons to local partners and community members, aiming to support their capacity building and also elevate social status associated with English fluency in Thailand During this quarter, free English lessons at the village school have resumed. Feedback is positive and staff and volunteers will continue to build on this success. GVI personnel attend monthly village meetings and speak with villagers about attending English classes. With the backing of the village Chief this should help to develop interest amongst the villagers. In the next phase, efforts should focus on encouraging more student participation in English lessons, and creating more structure in the form of set terms, progression and certification. The project will consider re-launching special English lessons for mahouts and also for homestay representatives. With regards to teaching children, a basic teaching guide has been written which is read by volunteers/interns before planning and teaching a lesson. Children in the community are showing an increasing interest in GVI volunteers, regularly visiting base hut to spend time with them. Volunteers and interns are encouraged to take advantage of this to teach children English. Pre made packs with lesson plans and resources have been created. These have been set out in such a way as to enable anyone to sit down and teach a lesson. Fun games and activities are included which will make the lessons fun for both children and volunteers alike. There are also a number of English reading books which volunteers can use to sit down and read with children in the community. By doing so, the project aims to strengthen relations with the community and improve the level of English spoken by the younger members of the community. The pre-made lesson plans are also used by volunteers and interns to teach classes at the village school. Volunteers and interns use the green folder at base hut which contains guides, documents and resources to enable them to plan and teach a lesson without the guidance of trained staff. In order to ensure lessons are effective, GVI personnel should

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meet with teachers at the school and ask that only those students genuinely interested to learn English should attend class.

4. References
Lair, Richard. 1997. Gone Astray: The Care and Management of the Asian Elephant in Domesticity. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Dharmasarn Co., Ltd., Bangkok Marshall, H.M. 1959. Elephant Kingdom. Robert Hale, Ltd., London.

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5. Appendices
Appendix A: Existing Methodologies A.1 Elephant Management The elephants are not set free to roam the forest unattended. They are monitored by mahouts who ultimately choose the area they will forage in, selecting habitat with sufficient food sources and safe distance from crops, human settlements, or any other potential hazards. Typically the mahouts will tether the elephants on 10 to 20m long chains during the night. They hike into the forest at dawn to check on the elephants and untether them, and then decide if there is sufficient forage remaining in the immediate area or otherwise move the elephants. Typically the elephants will freely roam and forage for most of the day and mahouts return periodically to check on them, however there seems to be much variation from mahout to mahout in terms of both chain time and also freedom of movement.

The biggest change to (the above) traditional methodology stems from the introduction of GVI’s assistance with monitoring and funding. Funding allows the traditional practice of short-duration forest reintroduction to continue indefinitely. To enable GVI personnel to access the elephants for routine health inspections, and to give easier access for western personnel unable to hike deep into the forest, a 2-day migratory pattern has been established. Two-Day Elephant Migration Pattern: • Elephants sleep tethered near the edge of the village, then are met by personnel in the morning, fed and inspected in a controlled environment, untethered then led into the forest by their mahouts. • GVI personnel follow the herd into the forest that morning and observe behaviour, monitoring the social development of the herd and feeding patterns.

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Elephants forage in the forest for the day and are later tethered deep in the forest to spend the night. Western personnel are often unable to follow the herd the full distance into the forest, due to rough terrain and thick vegetation.

The elephants are able to forage again most of the second day before being led by their mahouts back to the edge of the village in the afternoon

Evening of the second day elephants are tethered near the village and the 2-day cycle continues

This 2-day pattern allows a compromise between traditional mahout methods and the need for personnel to access the elephants. Traditionally the mahouts would tend to take the elephants deep into the forest, away from any human settlements or hazards and into thick vegetation to provide ample food. Near the edge of the village there is not sufficient foliage available for forage. To meet the elephants’ needs, GVI provides grass and other food while elephants are tethered close to the village. Food is sometimes purchased in the market, and most often is harvested by GVI personnel from local sources at the mahouts’ discretion. GVI volunteers and staff conduct research on elephant foraging and social behaviour during their walks with the elephants in the forest. They also gather information on biodiversity in the area, often gather biometric data, and make routine basic health checks. Each volunteer is assigned one specific elephant on their entry into the program and asked to collect data on that elephant for the duration of their stay.

A.2 Social and Foraging Behaviour Studies Each volunteer is assigned to one elephant upon arrival to the project, and will study the habits of that particular individual during their stay. The first morning after arriving at the project site each volunteer is introduced to their elephant and their mahout, and taught how to identify the individual elephant. By the second day of training each volunteer is expected to be able to identify their elephant in the herd, both by the front and rear view of the elephant, and know the elephant’s and mahout’s names. Keys to identifying the

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elephants via ears and tails are explained by GVI staff. If a volunteer is unable to identify their elephant they cannot move forward in the program and participate in gathering data. Data for foraging and social behaviour studies is gathered by volunteers as they follow the elephants into the forest on morning walks. No behaviour data is gathered on alternate days when collecting the elephants in the forest and walking them back towards the village. Volunteers are paired up and assigned either the observer or recorder role. Recorders are given clip boards and pens and asked to record all the observations made only by their partnered observer, without interpreting the observations and making no observations of their own. Observers will observe only the elephant they are assigned to and are asked to make only direct observations, not interpreting, inferring, nor relying on input from other volunteers or mahouts. Scan sampling data is collected at 5 minute intervals, gathering an instantaneous impression at that point in time. A sample Scan Sample Data Sheet is included as Appendix C. During scan sampling volunteers observe if their elephant is eating and how close they are in proximity to other elephants. Proximity is not observed while elephants are ridden or their movements are directly controlled by the mahouts, which is typically during the beginning observations while the herd is still close to the village. Volunteers also try to identify what part of the plant the elephant is eating, IE roots, bark or leaves, and also ask mahouts to identify the plant by its Karen name. During the scan if the elephant can be seen but is not eating this is recorded. If the elephant cannot be seen by the observer during a scan the recorder notes this, which does not imply the elephant was not eating. By making these observations at scanned intervals the project gathers a more accurate impression of the elephants’ behaviour over a long period, compared with a less accurate impression if continuously trying to gather this information which would overwhelm the observers and recorders alike.

Throughout the entire walk observers are also constantly looking for a range of behaviours, which are recorded on the All Occurrence Data Sheet. The behaviours which are continuously sampled are more interesting and less frequent, and thus do not require

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scanned interval sampling. A sample All Occurrence Data Sheet is provided as Appendix D. The behaviours continuously looked for by volunteers are listed in Table 1-1, below. Volunteers also record the exact stop watch time each all occurrence data point was observed, which elephants were involved, and they are asked to make copious notes for all data entries.

Elephant Behaviour Trunk Touch to Head (of another individual) Trunk Touch to Genital (of another individual) Nursing Urination Defecation
Table 4-2. Social Elephant Behaviour Continuously Sampled

A.3 General Biodiversity Study

On some forest walks with the elephants and mahouts, volunteers are assigned to observe biodiversity. A sample Biodiversity Data Sheet is listed as Appendix E. Volunteers are asked to note anything they find interesting, including plants, insects, mammals, birds and reptiles. They require the confirmation of any other member of the team for a positive identification, and confirmation is indicated by the signatures on the form. They are also encouraged to take digital photos of each species and store them on the base lap top.

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Appendix B. Elephant Health Check Form Please tick Yes Overall: Can you see any biting flies, ticks, insect larvae on the skin? Can you see any new wounds (blood), abscess (new lumps)? Is there any bad smell coming from the elephant? Is the elephant blowing a lot at a particular area? If so where? Eye: Is there cloudiness in the eye? Are there any spots/ debris in the eye? Mouth: If possible what colour is the mucous membrane? Pink, deep red/ Blue Feet: Are there any cracked or broken toenails? If possible, are there any blisters on the sole of the foot? Is there any sign of sweating around toenail (coronet)? Faeces: Are the faeces in nice round boluses? Is there blood in the faeces? Is there soil inside the faeces? Is there thick mucus in/on the faeces? Are there any parasites/worms in the faeces? Are the fresh faeces very dry? No

Question

Notes

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Appendix C. Sample Scan Sampling Data Sheet (double sided)

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Appendix D. Sample Continuous Sampling Data Sheet (double sided)

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Appendix E. Sample Biodiversity Data Sheet

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Appendix F. Continuing History of Achievements F.1 Community development - generation of more local business GVI has been sending volunteers to Huay Pakoot since July 2010. Volunteers are encouraged to support the local community by using the 3 village shops which supply a range of snacks, drinks and toiletries. The programme has structured a weekly visit when volunteers can purchase handmade traditional Karen clothing from community members for a set price which the community have agreed collectively. This includes traditional shirts, bags and skirts. This has been incredibly popular with volunteers and has generated a high demand for traditional Karen products. Over time, the villagers are beginning to see the business potential of making and selling their wares. On Thursday evening during the first week of our two week volunteer schedule there is an arts and crafts night where members of the community are invited to come to base hut and demonstrate local crafts. The villagers have begun bringing and selling their hand-made Karen wares after seeing their products were in high demand from volunteers. The mahouts are invited to demonstrate how to make a number of non-timer forest products such as bamboo cups, spoons and coat hangers. Volunteers then have the opportunity to make a cup after a health and safety debriefing from GVI personnel. This is a great opportunity for volunteers to learn new skills and also for the villagers to see that people are interested in learning their traditional skills. Every first Tuesday in the two week volunteer schedule, there is a discussion session where volunteers are encouraged to think of ethical elephant activities and ways in which issues in the Thai elephant industry can be resolved. Volunteers also discuss ideas as to how the local community can benefit from our project, and things that volunteers would pay for in the village. This has included cooking courses, basket weaving workshops and machete training, laundry, buying fruit shakes and fresh coffee, setting up a local shop

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selling local produce and traditional Karen products. GVI personnel discuss these ideas with members of the local community at monthly village meetings. GVI continues to support the local community in establishing businesses and continues to embolden villagers to develop more. Villagers are encouraged to develop ideas proposed by volunteers in our fortnightly group discussions. As a result, volunteers continue to make regular use of the three village shops. During the last quarter the fruit shake and coffee business has proven to be increasingly popular with volunteers and villagers alike. Basket weaving workshops take place at least once each fortnight and are led by members of the community with volunteers paying 30 Baht each for a hands-on demonstration of traditional bamboo basket weaving. GVI continues to provide work for community directly by hiring them to lead volunteers harvesting elephant food. During the last quarter GVI also hired a village truck to shuttle volunteers and mahouts into a deeper part of the forest to meet the elephants on several occasions. F.2 Provision of free English classes in the local community GVI personnel began providing free English classes to adults and children in the local community in July 2010. Due to time constraints, this consisted of two hour long classes offered each week to one person from each home stay family and mahouts involved in the Forest Reintroduction Programme. GVI personnel have designed a programme to teach villagers vocabulary they are likely to use on a daily basis with volunteers and other visitors to the village. The teaching is conducted by a GVI staff member who trained at the GVI TEFL teaching project in Krabi and follows the level 1 and 2 curriculum. The focus is placed on teaching speaking and listening rather than reading and writing which are a secondary focus of each lesson. The project aims to get villagers speaking English as soon as possible and using the language fluently. This will enable community members to access new potential revenue from English speaking visitors. Classes take place at base on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and are taught using a white board and reused paper. Many of the students are incredibly shy but some are very keen to learn. The project aims to extend classes to four per week in order to give the adults more time to practice. GVI

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personnel are in the process of designing a training programme so that volunteers staying for three weeks or longer can plan and teach adult classes in the village. Volunteers are also encouraged to practice English with their home stay families. The project began offering two English classes each week at the local primary school in July 2010. The first class consists of students from Grades 1-3 and the second consists of students from Grades 4-5. The lessons run for one hour and teach the level 1 curriculum using lesson plans from the GVI Teaching Children Project in Krabi. During the second week of the two week volunteer schedule volunteers have the opportunity to plan and teach the Grades 4-5 class on Wednesday afternoon. Volunteers begin planning on Sunday evening with guidance from GVI personnel. They are given a brief introduction to teaching in Thailand, background about the school, the level of English teach provided at the school and the level they will teach, an introduction to TEFL teaching, classroom management and discussion about resources that need to be made. Volunteers are encouraged to plan the lesson together as a group and all are encouraged to take part in the teaching. If the lesson is not planned or volunteers do not take it seriously, they are not allowed to teach. They are also reminded that they are representing GVI and the expectation to uphold the excellent reputation already established in the village. Volunteers are introduced to the teacher before the lesson begins and the class is begun by GVI personnel. Volunteers are then encouraged to teach the lesson themselves. English classes continued into Jan 2011 but then were eventually ended. This is partly the result of teaching staff suffering an immobilizing injury. The GVI English teacher was unable to visit the village school and so English lessons for children stopped. Adult classes were extended to four evenings a week. However, the number of students decreased to just two regular students during the 1st quarter of 2011. Near the end of that quarter one of the adult students moved to another Province, and the other was too shy to attend class on her own. Therefore, adult English classes have also stopped at the end of the 1st quarter, 2011.

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Provisions were then made to enable volunteers and interns to restart teaching both adults and children. For adult classes, a basic training guide has been written, which should be read by volunteers/interns before planning and teaching a class. Resources have also been made for level 1 and 2 classes to enable non professional people to plan and teach lessons effectively, without the help of trained staff. These can be found in the blue teaching folder kept at base hut.

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