Advertisement

Biodiversity & Conservation

, Volume 14, Issue 10, pp 2465–2481 | Cite as

Perceptions and Patterns of Human–elephant Conflict in Old and New Settlements in Sri Lanka: Insights for Mitigation and Management

  • Prithiviraj Fernando
  • Eric Wikramanayake
  • Devaka Weerakoon
  • L.K.A. Jayasinghe
  • Manori Gunawardene
  • H.K. Janaka
Article

Abstract

Human–elephant conflict poses a major threat to elephants in many parts of Asia, including Sri Lanka. We studied human–elephant conflict in two areas with contrasting scenarios of landuse and conflict, Kahalle and Yala. Kahalle was developed and settled under the Mahaweli irrigation project and the main agricultural practice was irrigated agriculture, with two annual growing seasons. The area was a mosaic of settlements, agriculture, and small forest patches with ill defined human- and elephant-use areas. Elephants ranged within the habitat mosaic year round, occupying remnant forest patches and raiding adjacent crops at night. In contrast, Yala was dominated by a large protected area complex, and the main agricultural methods were slash-and-burn agriculture and rain-fed paddy cultivation. Human- and elephant-use areas were well defined and segregated. The protected area provided elephants with a refuge and food during the rainy season, when the single annual crop was grown. During the dry season, elephants moved into slash-and-burn areas and utilized leftover crops and pioneer vegetation in fallow fields. The landuse pattern and agricultural practices in Yala facilitated co-existence, whereas that in Kahalle led to year round conflict. We suggest that areas managed according to traditional landuse practices should be part of an elephant conservation strategy, where people and elephants have to share resources.

Keywords

Conservation Elephants Human–elephant conflict Sri Lanka Wildlife management 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Barnes, R.F.W., Alers, M.P.T. 1995A review of the status of forest elephants Loxodonta africana in Central AfricaBiol. Conserv.71125132CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baskaran, N., Balasubramanian, M., Swaminathan, S., Desai, A.J. 1993Home range of elephants in the Nilgiri Biosphere ReserveSouth IndiaDaniel, J.C.Datye, H. eds. A Week With Elephants, Proceedings of the International Seminar on Asian ElephantsBombay Natural History Society, Oxford University PressBombay298313Google Scholar
  3. Bist, S.S. 1998Elephant–human conflict in West BengalENVIS.11220Google Scholar
  4. Department of Census and Statistics1986Census of Population and Housing 1981, General ReportDepartment of Census and Statistics, Ministry of Plan ImplementationColombo, Sri LankaGoogle Scholar
  5. Desai, A.A., Baskaran, N. 1996Impact of human activities on the ranging behaviour of elephants in the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve, South IndiaJ. Bombay Nat. Hist. Soc.93559569Google Scholar
  6. Fernando, P. 1997Keeping jumbo afloat – Is translocation the answer to the human–elephant conflict?Sri Lanka Nature1412Google Scholar
  7. Fernando, P. 2000Elephants in Sri Lanka: pastpresentand futureLoris223844Google Scholar
  8. Fernando, P., Pfrender, M.E., Encalada, S., Lande, R. 2000Mitochondrial DNA variation, phylogeography, and population structure of the Asian elephantHeredity84362372CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. Fleischer, R.C., Perry, E.A., Muralidharan, K., Stevens, E.E., Wemmer, C.M. 2001Phylogeography of the Asian elephant (Elephas maximus) based on mitochondrial DNAEvolution5518821892PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. Harris, L.D. 1984The Fragmented Forest: Island Biogeography Theory and the Preservation of Biotic DiversityUniversity of Chicago PressChicagoGoogle Scholar
  11. Hewavisenthi, A.C.D. 1992Mahaweli water-resources projectWater International173343Google Scholar
  12. Hoare, R. 1995Options for the control of elephants in conflict with peoplePachyderm195463Google Scholar
  13. Hoare, R. 2000African elephants and humans in conflict: the outlook for co-existenceOryx343438CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Ishwaran, N. 1993Ecology of the Asian elephant in lowland dry zone habitats of the Mahaweli River basin, Sri LankaJ. Trop. Ecol.9169182Google Scholar
  15. Jayewardene, J. 1993Elephant management and conservation in the Mahaweli project areasGajah11615Google Scholar
  16. Jayewardene, J. 1994The Elephant in Sri LankaThe Wildlife Heritage Trust of Sri LankaColombo, Sri LankaGoogle Scholar
  17. Johnsingh, A.J.T., Joshua, J. 1994Conserving Rajaji and Corbett national parks – the elephant as a flagship speciesOryx2135140Google Scholar
  18. Kie, J.G., Baldwin, J.A., Evans, C.J. 1996CALHOME: a program for estimating animal home rangesWildlife Soc. Bull.24342344Google Scholar
  19. Kiiru, W. 1995The current status of human–elephant conflict in KenyaPachyderm191517Google Scholar
  20. Lahiri-Choudhury, D.K. 1991Saving elephants for posterityIUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group Newsletter61819Google Scholar
  21. Mueller-Dombois, D. 1971Crown distortion and elephant distribution in the woody vegetations of Ruhuna National Park, CeylonEcology53208226Google Scholar
  22. Noss, R.F., Cooperrider, A. 1994Saving Nature's Legacy: Protecting and Restoring BiodiversityDefenders of Wildlife and Island PressWashington, DCGoogle Scholar
  23. Noss, R.F., Quigley, H.B., Hornocker, M.G., Merrill, T., Paquet, P.C. 1996Conservation biology and carnivore conservation in the Rocky MountainsConservation Biology10949963CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Nyhus, P.J., Tilson, R., Sumianto,  2000Crop-raiding elephants and conservation implications at Way Kambas National Park, SumatraIndonesiaOryx34262274CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. O'Connell-Rodwell, C.E., Rodwell, T., Rice, M., Hart, L.A. 2000Living with the modern conservation paradigm: can agricultural communities co-exist with elephants? A five-year case study in East CapriviNambibia.Biol. Conserv.93381391CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Santiapillai, C., Jackson, P. 1990The Asian Elephant: An Action Plan for its ConservationIUCN/SSC Asian Elephant Specialist Group, IUCNGland, SwitzerlandGoogle Scholar
  27. Sukumar, R. 1989The Asian Elephant: Ecology and ManagementCambridge University PressCambridge, UKGoogle Scholar
  28. Tchamba, M.N. 1996History and present status of the human/elephant conflict in the Waza-Logone region, Cameroon, West AfricaBiol. Conserv.753541CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Tchamba, M.N., Bauer, H., De-Iongh, H.H. 1995Application of VHF-radio and satellite telemetry techniques on elephants in northern CameroonAfr. J. Ecol.35335345Google Scholar
  30. White, G.C., Garrot, R.A. 1990Analysis of Wildlife Radio-tracking DataAcademic PressSan Diego, CaliforniaGoogle Scholar
  31. Wikramanayake, E.D., Dinerstein, E., Robinson, J.G., Karanth, U., Rabinowitz, A., Olson, D., Matthew, T., Hedao, P., Conner, M., Hemley, G., Bolze, D. 1998An ecology-based method for defining priorities for large mammal conservation: the tiger as a case studyConserv. Biol.12865878CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Prithiviraj Fernando
    • 1
    • 2
  • Eric Wikramanayake
    • 2
    • 3
  • Devaka Weerakoon
    • 2
    • 4
  • L.K.A. Jayasinghe
    • 2
  • Manori Gunawardene
    • 2
  • H.K. Janaka
    • 2
  1. 1.Wildlife Trust New YorkUSA
  2. 2.Centre for Conservation and ResearchRajagiriyaSri Lanka
  3. 3.Conservation Science ProgramWorld Wildlife Fund-USWashington, DCUSA
  4. 4.University of ColomboColomboSri Lanka

Personalised recommendations