An attitude assessment of human-elephant conflict in a critical wildlife corridor within the Terai Arc Landscape, India

Biba Jasmine, Dipankar Ghose, Sanjay Keshari Das

Abstract


This study entails an attitude assessment of the local people living at Mankanthpur Village, one of the bottlenecks in the Bailparao-Kotabagh corridor, Terai West Forest Division, on the issue of elephant conservation, human-(wildlife) elephant conflict, and the measures to mitigate it.  Data was collected through a questionnaire survey and several group discussions among the villagers.  The frequency of crop raids and group size of elephants were calculated.  Sixty-two crop raids took place during the study period (February–April 2010), and a mean sighting of 1.08 elephants per day was recorded.  Data from the survey reflects that about 3.53ha of crop land was damaged by the elephants during the survey period.  The people residing on the fringes of the park and in the villages along the Bailparao-Kotabagh Corridor were surveyed about the conflict impact.  Survey results indicate that the most effective management measures used were a combination of loud noise and scaring away elephants using fire.  Local peoples’ views regarding the current status of elephant raids and conservation were also documented.  Peoples’ reaction to compensation schemes was studied; 89% of the respondents feel an effective approach to compensation is a way to reduce sufferings due to conflict with wildlife.  Attempts to reduce the conflict by forming local elephant control teams and enclosing the affected village with a tall cemented wall are under trial.  The underlying assumption in this study is that if damage severely affects the livelihood of local communities, getting their active support, which is essential for conservation, will be difficult.

 

Keywords


Asian Elephant; attitudes; community; crop raiding forest corridor; human-elephant conflict.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3914.6843-52

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