Root Cause of Human Elephant Conflict

Root Cause of Human Elephant Conflict

Root cause of Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC)
Image illustrated by Phakhawat Thaweepworadel, content by Budda Chotimanvijit and Bhichet Noonto

According to IUCN Red List, Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) are listed as “Endangered species”. While in Thailand, they are “Protected animal” by Wildlife Protection Act B.E. 2535. However, they are still facing with the threats from habitat loss or fragmentation, poaching or domestication and human-elephant conflict. Due to the fact that today, 13th March, is Thailand Elephant Day, Human-Elephant Voices tend to share you some facts about the root cause of HEC.

Human-elephant conflict is one form of interaction between human and elephants but it is referred to the negative interaction between them. The result of HEC often tragic which including deaths or injuries of both human and elephants or properties and crop damages.

Desai and Riddle (2015) had classified the root causes of HEC into three categories which are:

  1. Habitat loss and fragmentation are from the forest cutting to build the settlement or agricultural areas or even the construction of road and dam in the forest. All these actions will degrade the forest quality for elephant which will consequently push the elephants to find another forest to live or come out from the forest to forage in agricultural area instead.
  2. Agricultural area-elephant habitat interference is where the area of agriculture and elephant habitat are contacted. Researchers found the if the interaction zone are larger, they will have a higher chance that conflicts will be more frequent and intense.
  3. Elephant population is not compatible with the remaining forest due to the habitat degradation or loos. This will force some elephants in the population to come out and find another habitat in human agricultural areas. However, the forest carrying capacity to support the elephant population must be further investigated in Thailand.

To conserve the elephant, much more attentions are needed to deal with the HEC. There is no one-pill solution to tackle with this conflict. All stakeholders that related to HEC have to cooperate and co-management willingly with the integration from scientific and social knowledge. At least, to the point that community and coexist peacefully with the elephants.


ติดตามข่าวสารเสียงคน เสียงช้างได้ที่นี่
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พิเชฐ นุ่นโต, ชุติอร ซาวินี, มัทนา ศรีกระจ่าง และ ชิษณุวัฒน์ มณีศรีขำ. (2561). เสียงคน เสียงช้างป่า: แนวโน้มการตอบสนองของชุมชนต่อการจัดการปัญหาความขัดแย้งระหว่างคนกับช้างป่าในประเทศไทย. กองทุนสนับสนุนการวิจัย (สกว.) ฝ่ายวิจัยเพื่อท้องถิ่น, กรุงเทพฯ.
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