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

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Biba Jasmine
Dipankar Ghose
Sanjay Keshari Das


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.


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Author Biographies

Biba Jasmine, Sustainable Development & Conservation Biology, 1213E H.J. Patterson Hall, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742 - 3281, USA

Biba Jasmine is a Fulbright-Nehru Master’s Scholar at the University of Maryland, College Park, doing Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology. She has previously worked with the Wildlife Institute of India, on the preparation of the 5th National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity. She also has an experience of working with various organizations. She is into writing semi-scientific articles for various conservation/environment based magazines.

Dipankar Ghose, World Wide Fund for Nature-India, Lodhi Road, Lodi Estate, New Delhi 110003, India

Dipankar Ghose carries out species conservation work on 10 landscapes across the length and breadth of the country. He has in past coordinated the Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Conservation programme of WWF India (1999–2001).

Sanjay Keshari Das, University School of Environment Management, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Sector 16C, Dwarka, New Delhi 110075, India

Sanjay Keshari Das is Assistant Professor. He is actively engaged with research work on animal biosystematics and conservation in the Indian subcontinent.



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