People’s attitude towards wild elephants, forest conservation and Human-Elephant conflict in Nilambur, southern Western Ghats of Kerala, India

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C. K. Rohini
T. Aravindan
K.S. Anoop Das
P. A. Vinayan


Conflict with elephants and subsequent economic losses negatively affect residents’ tolerance towards wild elephants.  It is important to understand people’s attitude towards wildlife, especially Asian Elephants with an endangered status.  A questionnaire survey was undertaken with 510 forest fringe residents of Nilambur North and South Forest Divisions, Kerala, to understand residents’ attitudes towards elephant conservation and Human-Elephant conflict.  The majority of the villagers experienced psychological stress and fear associated with movement restriction and chances of encounters with elephants.  Crop damage was perceived as the most serious issue, followed by injury or death by encounters with elephants.  Elephants show a higher preference for raiding Jackfruit and Plantain than other crops.  The conflict was caused more frequently by solitary elephants than by elephant herds.  Elephants were mainly found near farm areas during late night (22:00–02:00 hr) and early night (20:00–22:00 hr).  More than half of the residents were in favour of forest conservation owing to its ecological value.  One-fourth of the respondents favoured forest conservation due to its extraction benefits such as collection of fuel wood and cattle grazing.  Almost equal proportions of people have positive and negative attitudes towards elephants.  In such instances, the possibility for a drastic shift towards negative attitudes following spontaneous elephant conflict events can be expected.  Ecological awareness, interaction among stakeholders, and participatory maintenance of mitigation methods will possibly reduce conflict and contribute towards the coexistence of people and elephants in this human-dominated landscape.


Article Details

Author Biography

C. K. Rohini, Post Graduate Department of Zoology and Research Centre, Sree Narayana College, Thottada P.O., Kannur, Kerala 670007, India 

PG Department Of Zoology & Research Centre

Sree Narayana College

Research Scholar


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