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

Main Article Content

C. K. Rohini
http://orcid.org/0000-0003-2273-2408
T. Aravindan
http://orcid.org/0000-0001-9745-3791
K.S. Anoop Das
P. A. Vinayan
http://orcid.org/0000-0003-3988-1813

Abstract

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

How to Cite
[1]
Rohini, C.K., Aravindan, T., Das, K.A. and Vinayan, P.A. 2018. People’s attitude towards wild elephants, forest conservation and Human-Elephant conflict in Nilambur, southern Western Ghats of Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa. 10, 6 (May 2018), 11710–11716. DOI:https://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3487.10.6.11710-11716.
Section
Communications
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

References

Allendorf, T., K.K. Swe, M. Aung, P. Leimgruber & M. Songer (2015). Mitigating human-elephant conflict near Shwe-U-Daung Wildlife Sanctuary, Myanmar. Gajah 42: 22–29.

Badola, R. (1998). Attitudes of local people towards conservation and alternatives to forest resources: a case study from the lower Himalayas. Biodiversity and Conservation 7: 1245–1259.

Bell, R.H.V. (1984). The man-animal interface: an assessment of crop damage and wildlife control, pp. 387–416. In: Bell, R.H.V. & E. Mcshane-Caluzi (eds.). Conservation & Wildlife Management in Africa. US Peace Corps, Malawi.

Conover, M.R. (2002). Resolving Human-wildlife Conflicts. The Science of Wildlife Damage Management. CRC Press, Lewis Publishers, New York.

Das, J.P., B.P. Lahkar & B.K. Talukdar (2012).Increasing trend of human-elephant conflict in Golaghat District Assam, India: issues and concerns. Gajah 37: 34–37.

de Boer, W.F. & D.S. Baquete (1993). Natural resource use, crop damage and attitudes of rural people in the vicinity of the Maputo Elephant Reserve, Mozambique. Environmental Conservation 25: 208–218.

Dickman, A.J. (2010). Complexities of conflict: the importance of considering social factors for effectively resolving human-wildlife conflict. Animal Conservation 13: 458–466; http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1469-1795.2010.00368

Easa, P.S. & S. Sankar (1999). Study on man-wildlife interaction in Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary. Kerala KFRI Research Report 166.

Fernando, P., E. Wikramanayake, D. Weerakoon, L.K.A. Jayasinghe, M. Gunawardene & H.K. Janaka (2005). Perceptions and patterns of human-elephant conflict in old and new settlements in Sri Lanka: Insights for mitigation and managements. Biodiversity and Conservation 14: 2465–2481; http://doi.org/10.1007/s10531-004-0216-z

Hart, L.A. & C.E. O’Connell (2000). Human Conflict with African and Asian Elephants and Associated Conservation Dilemmas. Center for Animals in Society in the School of Veterinary Medicine and Ecology, University of California, Davis, USA.

Hill, C. (1998). Conflicting attitudes towards elephants around the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda. Environmental Conservation 24: 244–250.

Hoare, R.E. (1995). Options for the control of elephants in conflict with people. Pachyderm 19: 54–63.

Hoare, R.E. (1999). Determinants of human-elephant conflict in a land-use mosaic. Journal of Applied Ecology 36: 689–700.

Infield, M. (2001). Cultural values: a forgotten strategy for building community support for protected areas in Africa. Conservation Biology 15: 800–802; http://doi.org/10.1046/j.1523-1739.2001.015003800.x

Jasmine, B., D. Ghose & S.K. Das (2015). An attitude assessment of human-elephant conflict in a critical wildlife corridor within the Terai Arc Landscape, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 7(2): 6843–4852; http://doi.org/10.11609/JoTT.o3914.6843-52

Karanth, K.K., J.D. Nichols, J.E. Hines, U.K. Karanth & L. Christensen (2009). Patterns and determinants of mammal species occurrence in India. Journal of Applied Ecology 46:1189–1200; http://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2664.2009.01710.x

Karanth, K.K., J.D. Nichols, U.K. Karanth, J.E. Hines & N.L. Christensen (2010). The shrinking ark: large mammal extinctions in India. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 277: 1971–1979.

Kiss, A. (1990). Living with Wildlife. Draft report of World Bank Environment Division, The World Bank, and Washington, DC.

Kuriyan, R. (2002). Linking local perceptions of elephants and conservation: Samburu pastoralists in northern Kenya. Society and Natural Resources 15: 949–957.

Lee, P.C. (2004). Who wins? Human primate conflict in the context of conservation, development and gender. Primate Eye 84: 15–16.

Macura, B., F. Zorondo-Rodriguez, M. Grau-satorras, K. Demps, M. Laval, C.A. Garcia & V. Reyes-Garcia (2011). Local community attitude towards forests outside protected areas in India. Impact of legal awareness, trust, and participation. Ecology and Society 16: 10.

Mittermeier, R.A., R.P. Gil, M.Hoffman, J. Pilgrim, T. Brooks, C.G. Mittermeier, J. Lamoreux & G.A.B. Fonseca (2005). Hotspots Revisited: Earth’s Biologically Richest and Most Endangered Terrestrial Ecoregions. Published by Cimex, Mexico.

Nath, N.K., B.P. Lahkar, S.K. Dutta & J.P. Das (2015). Human elephant conflict around Manas National Park, India: Local people’s attitudes, expectations and perceptions. Gajah 42: 15–21.

Newmark, W.D., N.L. Leonard, H.I. Sariko & D.G. Gamassa (1993). Conservation attitudes of local people living adjacent to five

protected areas in Tanzania. Biological Conservation 63: 177–183.

Ngure, N. (1995). People-elephant conflict management in Tsavo,

Kenya. Pachyderm 19: 20–25.

Ninan, K.N., S. Jyothis, P. Babu & V. Ramakrishnappa (2007). The Economics of Biodiversity Conservation: Valuation in Tropical Forest Ecosystem. Earthscan, London.

Pant, G., M. Dhakal, M.N.B. Pradhan, F. Leverington & M. Hockings (2015). Nature and extent of human–elephant Elephas maximus conflict in Central Nepal. Oryx 50: 724–731.

Parry, D. & B. Campbell (1992). Attitudes of the rural communities to animal wildlife and its utilization in Chobe enclave and Mababe Depression, Botswana. Environmental Conservation 3: 245–52.

Raval, S.R. (1994). Wheel of life: perceptions and concerns of the resident peoples for Gir National Park in India. Society & Natural Resources 7: 305–320.

Rohini, C.K., T. Aravindan, K.S.A. Das & P.A. Vinayan (2017). Status of conflict mitigation measures in Nilambur, Western Ghats of Kerala, India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 9(12): 11025–11032; http://doi.org/10.11609/jott.3465.9.12.11025-11032

Rohini, C.K., T. Aravindan, K.S.A. Das & P.A. Vinayan (2016). Patterns of Human-Wildlife Conflict and People’s Perception towards Compensation Program in Nilambur, southern Western Ghats, India. Conservation Science 4: 1–10

Santiapillai, C., S. Wijeyamohan, G. Bandara, R. Athurupana, N. Dissanayake & B. Read (2010). An assessment of the human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka. Ceylon Journal of Science (Bio.Sci.) 39: 21–33.

Sitati, N. (2003). Human-Elephant conflict in Trans Mara District adjacent to Masai Mara National Reserve. PhDThesis. University of Kent, Canterbury, UK.

Stephenson, P.J. (2004). The future for elephants in Africa, pp. 133–136. In: Burgess, N., J. D’Amico Hales, E. Underwood, E. Dinerstein, D. Olson, I. Itoua, J. Schipper, T. Ricketts & K. Newman (eds.). Terrestrial Ecoregions of Africa and Madagascar: A Conservation Assessment. Island Press, Washington, DC.

Struhsaker, T.T., P.J. Struhsaker & K. Siex (2005). Conserving Africa’s rain forests: problems in protected areas and possible solutions. Biological Conservation 123: 45–54.

Sukumar, R. (1990). Ecology of Asian Elephants in south India. Feeding habits and crop raiding patterns. Journal of Tropical Ecology 6: 33–53; http://doi.org/10.1017/S0266467400004004

Sukumar, R. & M. Gadgil (1988). Male-female differences in foraging on crops by Asian elephants. Animal Behaviour 36: 1233–1235.

Sukumar, R. & P.S. Easa (2006). Elephant conservation in South India: issues and recommendations. Gajah 25: 71–86.

Sutton, W. (1998). The costs of living with elephants in Namibia, pp. 57–71. In: Proceedings from the Workshop on Cooperative Regional Wildlife Management in Southern Africa. University of California, Davis, CA, USA.

Thouless, C. (1994). Conflict between humans and elephants on private land in northern Kenya. Oryx 28: 119– 127; http://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605300028428

Walpole, M.J. & N. Leader-Williams (2002). Tourism and flagship species in conservation. Biodiversity and Conservation 11: 543–547.

Wilson, S., T.E. Davies, N. Hazarika & A. Zimmermann (2013). Understanding spatial and temporal patterns of human–elephant conflict in Assam, India. Oryx 49: 140–149; http://doi.org/10.1017/S0030605313000513