Preparation of Human-Elephant Conflict Mitigation Strategy and Action Plan

©KB Thapa

Human-elephant conflict (HEC) has been widely recognized as one of the major conservation challenge in Nepal. Although the problem has been well known for many years, the burgeoning of frequency and intensity of conflict suggests that improved strategy is urgently needed to promote co-existence between elephant and people. Recent studies have shown that human-elephant conflict alone contributes more than one third of human fatalities and injuries by wildlife attacks in Nepal. Attempts have been made to minimize conflict by using various preventive measures such as trenches along the forest boundary; electric fencing and warning calls from elephant watch towers and cultivation of unpalatable crops. However, successes of these measures are highly unsubstantiated because of lack of data and systematic analysis. Studies have shown that there is no a ‘blanket solution’ of mitigation measures and their effectiveness of depend on habitat characteristics, elephant behavior and local traditions and expectation. The Government of Nepal approved ‘Elephant Conservation Action Plan for Nepal (2009-2018)’ on December 28, 2009. The plan calls for an effective partnership among local communities, concerned government line agencies and conservation organizations to prevent and mitigate HEC. This study was a timely engagement to consolidate and update knowledge about HEC and provided government of Nepal with a HEC mitigation strategy and action plan.

Activities included:

  • Thorough review of literature on elephant, behavioral ecology and conflict with humans,
  • Questionnaire survey and interactions with local people from Jhapa to Kanchanpur,
  • Workshops with related stakeholders in elephant distribution range states, and
  • Data analysis, report write up and submission