Advertisement

Springer Nature is making Coronavirus research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Correlation between increased human-elephant conflict and poaching of elephants in Burkina Faso (West Africa)

Abstract

Human-elephant conflict (HEC) represents a serious threat to both survival of wild elephants and human economic activities at the local level in many African regions, but has been relatively little investigated in West Africa. Here, the ecological correlates of HEC and correlation between HEC and elephant poaching, are investigated in the PONASI complex of protected areas in Burkina Faso (West Africa). Out of 144 villages surveyed, HEC was observed in 78 villages. Within this sample, we interviewed 188 local farmers who were victims of elephant damages during the period 2011–2015. Elephant raids were positively correlated with some crop types in farms (sorghum, maize, millet, and rice) and negatively with beans, and increased most significantly with increases in seeds, seedlings, plant growing and, especially, crops at maturation in the farms. Five cases of human deaths as consequence of elephant raids were also recorded. We observed a significant increase of the number of raids during the period 2011–2015, as well as of the number of elephants killed by year by poachers. Poaching was concentrated especially in the dry season (December to February), just after the end of the harvest period. There was also a clear correspondence between provinces that were more affected by elephant raids and where elephant poaching was most intense. Thus, although local poachers also likely contributed to the illegal ivory market, it was apparent that avoiding elephant raids was among the main reasons for pushing them to hunt illegally for elephants. Insufficient participation of communities hampers the PONASI protected area complex sutainable management. In order to gain the people’s support for the ideals of wildlife conservation, it is essential that they would feel that their concerns are taken into account, thus by adopting policies that minimize HEC effects on local economies.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2

References

  1. Amori G, Segniagbeto GH, Assou D, Decher J, Gippoliti S, Luiselli L (2016) Non-marine mammals of Togo (West Africa): an annotated checklist. Zoosystema 38:201–244

  2. Barnes RFW (1996) The conflict betweeen humans and elephants in the central African forests. Mammal Rev 26:67–80

  3. Barnes RFW (2002) Treating crop-raiding elephants with aspirin. Pachyderm 33:96–99

  4. Barnes RFW, Hema EM, Nandjui A, Manford M, Dubiure UF, Danquah EKA, Boafo Y (2005) Risk of crop raiding by elephants around the Kakum Conservation Area, Ghana. Pachyderm 39:19–25

  5. Barua M, Bhagwat SA, Jadhav S (2013) The hidden dimensions of human-wildlife conflict: health impacts, opportunity and transaction costs. Biological Conservation 157:309–316

  6. Boafo Y, Dubiure U-F, Danquah EKA, Manford M, Nandjui A, Hema EM, Barnes RFW, Bailey B (2004) Long-term management of crop-raiding by elephants around the Kakum Conservation Area in southern Ghana. Pachyderm 37:68–72

  7. FAO (2008) Human-wildlife conflict: Elephant Technical Manual. WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT WORKING PAPER Number 11. 45 pp

  8. Hema ME, Barnes RFW, Guenda W (2010a) Distribution of savannah elephants (Loxodonta africana africana Blumenbach 1797) within Nazinga game ranch, southern Burkina Faso. Afr. J. Ecol. 49:141–149

  9. Hema ME, Barnes RFW, Guenda W (2010b) The seasonal distribution of savanna elephants (Loxodonta africana africana Blumenbach 1797) in Nazinga Game Ranch, southern Burkina Faso. Pachyderm 48:33–40

  10. Hema EM, Sirima D, Niagabaré B, Nama N, Petrozzi F, Di Vittorio M, Guenda W, Luiselli L (2018) Raiding or not raiding? A study of the ecological correlates of Human-Elephant Conflict at Nazinga Game Ranch (Burkina Faso). Rev. Ecol. (Terre Vie) 73:3–11

  11. Hill C (1998) Conflicting attitudes towards elephants around the Budongo Forest Reserve. Uganda. Environ. Conserv. 25(3):244–250

  12. Hoare RE (1999) Determinants of human-elephant conflict in a land-use mosaic. Journal of applied ecology 36:689–700

  13. Hoare R (2000) African elephants and humans in conflict: the outlook for co-existence. Oryx 34:34–38

  14. Hoare R (2012) Lessons from 15 years of human-elephant conflict mitigation: management considerations involving biological, physical and governance issues in Africa. Pachyderm 51:60–74

  15. Hosmer DW, Lemeshow S (2000) Applied logistic regression analysis, 2nd edn. John Wiley and Sons, New York

  16. Jachmann H (1988) Numbers, distribution and movements of the Nazinga elephant. Pachyderm 10:16–21

  17. Kiiru W (1995) The current status of human-elephant conflict in Kenya. Pachyderm 19:15–18

  18. Kessler JJ, Geerling C (1994) Profil environnemental du Burkina Faso. Université Agronomique de Wageningen, Département de l’Aménagement de la Nature, Les Pays-Bas.

  19. Mallon DP, Hoffmann M, Grainger MJ, Hibert F, Van Vliet N, Mcgowan PJK (2015) Analyse de situation de l’UICN concernant la faune terrestre et d’eau douce en Afrique centrale et de l’Ouest. Document occasionnel de la Commission de la sauvegarde des espèces de l’UICN n° 54. Gland, Suisse et Cambridge, Royaume-Uni : UICN. x + 162 pp.

  20. Mariki SB, Svarstad H, Benjaminsen TA (2015) Elephants over the Cliff: Explaining Wildlife Killings in Tanzania. Land Use Policy 44:19–30

  21. McCullagh P, Nelder JA (1989) Generalized linear models. Chapman and Hall/CRC, London, U.K.

  22. Nakandé A, Belem AMG, Nianogo AJ, Jost C (2007) Conflits homes-éléphants dans la Reserve Partielle de Pama, Burkina Faso. Pachyderm 42:81–91

  23. Naughton L, Rose R, Treves A (1999) The social dimensions of human-elephant conflict in Africa: a literature review and case studies from Uganda and Cameroon. A Report to the African Elephant Specialist, Human-Elephant Task Conflict Task Force, of IUCN, Glands, Switzerland.

  24. Nuno A, John FAS (2015) How to ask sensitive questions in conservation: A review of specialized questioning techniques. Biological Conservation 189:5–15

  25. Nyirenda VR, Nkhata BA, Tembo O, Siamundele S (2018) Elephant Crop Damage: Subsistence Farmers’ Social Vulnerability, Livelihood Sustainability and Elephant Conservation. Sustainability 10:3572. https://doi.org/10.3390/su10103572

  26. Osei-Owusu Y (2018) Human-Wildlife Conflict: Elephants-Technical Manual. UNEP, New York

  27. Ouédraogo M, Delvingt W, Doucet JL, Vermeulen C, Bouché P (2009) Estimation des effectifs des populations d’éléphants par la method d’inventaire pédestre total au Ranch de Gibier de Nazinga (Burkina Faso). Pachyderm 45:57–66

  28. Ouédraogo NA. (1997) Quels régimes fonciers pour les aménagements hydro-agricoles? Actes du séminaire atelier. Quel environnement pour le développement de l’irrigation au Burkina Faso. IIMI, Ministère de l’Environnement, Direction des Etudes et de la Planification, Burkina Faso.

  29. Parker GE, Osborn FV, Hoare RE, Niskanen LS (eds) (2007) Human-Elephant Conflict Mitigation: A Training Course for Community-Based Approaches in Africa. Participant’s Manual. Elephant Pepper Development Trust, Livingstone, Zambia and IUCN/SSC AfESG, Nairobi, Kenya. Also available at: http://www.iucn.org/themes/ssc/sgs/afesg/hec/hectools.html

  30. Tchamba, M.N. (1996). History and Present Status of the Human/Elephant Conflict in the Waza-Logone Region, Cameroon, West Africa. Biol. Conserv. 75: 35-41

  31. Shaffer LJ, Khadka KK, Van Den Hoek J, Naithani KJ (2019) Human-Elephant Conflict: A Review of Current Management Strategies and Future Directions. Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution 6: doi. https://doi.org/10.3389/fevo.2018.00235

  32. Sitati NW, Walpole MJ, Leader-Williams N (2005) Factors affecting susceptibility of farms to crop raiding by African elephants: using a predictive model to mitigate conflict. Journal of applied ecology 42:1175–1182

  33. Vermeulen C (2001) Démographie, immigration et employé dans le village gourounsi de Sia, périphérie ouest du Ranch de Gibier de Nazinga. Unpublished report, Nazinga Game Ranch, Burkina Faso

Download references

Acknowledgments

This research complied with the ethical guidelines developed by the British Sociological Association. We are grateful to the Ministère de l’Environnement de l’Economie Verte et du Changement Climatique of Burkina Faso for logistic advice, and to the numerous persons who answered to our questionnaires and provided useful information in the field. Two anonymous referees substantially improved the submitted draft.

Author information

Correspondence to Emmanuel M. Hema.

Additional information

Publisher’s note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Electronic supplementary material

ESM 1

(DOCX 38 kb)

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Compaore, A., Sirima, D., Hema, E.M. et al. Correlation between increased human-elephant conflict and poaching of elephants in Burkina Faso (West Africa). Eur J Wildl Res 66, 24 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10344-019-1329-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • Human-elephant conflict
  • Elephant poaching
  • Local conservation
  • PONASI complex
  • Burkina Faso
  • West Africa