Human-Elephant Conflict in Thailand

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Human-Elephant Conflicts in Thailand

Human-elephant conflict (HEC) is the loss of properties or lives from interactions between humans and wild elephants. Root causes of HEC are from loss of wild elephant’s suitable habitats,  agricultural encroachment and thus elephant behavior change. These lead to the conflict between two species which result in casualties and property damages especially cash crop of farmers.

Human-elephant conflict was found in 41 Protected Areas (PAs) which are 22% of the total PAs in Thailand. Eastern Forest Complex had the highest intensity of HEC due to the highest number of human and elephant deaths and injuries. The second highest HEC intensity ranked was Western Forest Complex (WEFCOM) followed by Kaeng Krachan-Kui Buri Forest Complex, Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex, Khao Luang-Khao Banthat Forest Complex, Khlong Saeng-Khao Sok Forest Complex, and Phu Khieo-Nam Nao Forest Complex.

Human elephant conflict in Thailand



During 2012-2018, there were 107 incidents of human-elephant conflict. Humans were found dead by elephants for 45 cases and injuries for 30 cases. The elephant death number were 25 individuals and injuries were 7 individuals. The trend of casualties for both species is likely to have increased in recent years.

Causes of elephant deaths were from electric shock from unsafe electric fences followed by vehicle collisions. Elephant injuries were from vehicle collisions and damage during villagers protecting their agricultural crops. Most human deaths were from elephant attacks during crop guarding and commuting.

To lessen the human-elephant conflict intensity, strategies and techniques are implemented by governments, local and private sectors depending on the context of the conflict area. For example, local villagers with the Kui Buri National Park rangers create wildlife tourism in the Royal Project Area with the support from World Wildlife Fund (WWF) in Prachuap Khiri Khan Province or communal crop guarding and adaptation to create the elephant-friendly product at Thong Pha Phum National Park, Kanchanaburi Province.



Noonto, B., Savini, C., Srikrachang, M. and Maneesrikum, C. 2018. Human and Elephant Voices: Communities Responses toward Human-Elephant Conflict Management Strategies in Thailand. Thailand Research Fund (TRF): Community-Based Research Division (CBR), Bangkok.