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Appears in Collections:Psychology Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Patterns of crop-raiding by elephants, Loxodonta africana, in Laikipia, Kenya, and the management of human-elephant conflict
Author(s): Graham, Max D
Notter, Benedikt
Adams, William M
Lee, Phyllis C
Ochieng, Tobias Nyumba
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Keywords: African elephants
human-elephant conflict
spatial analysis
fences as deterrence
Elephants Conservation
Elephants Control
Human ecology
Issue Date: 2010
Date Deposited: 20-Mar-2012
Citation: Graham MD, Notter B, Adams WM, Lee PC & Ochieng TN (2010) Patterns of crop-raiding by elephants, Loxodonta africana, in Laikipia, Kenya, and the management of human-elephant conflict. Systematics and Biodiversity, 8 (4), pp. 435-445.
Abstract: Recorded incidence of conflict between humans and elephants, in particular crop-raiding, is increasing in rural Africa and Asia, undermining efforts to conserve biological diversity. Gaining an understanding of the underlying determinants of human-elephant conflict is important for the development of appropriate management tools. This study analysed crop-raiding by African elephants (Loxodonta africana) in Laikipia District, covering 9,700 km2 in north-central Kenya to identify spatial determinants of crop-raiding by elephants at different spatial extents. On average crop-raiding incidents occurred within 1.54 km of areas of natural habitat where elephants could hide by day undisturbed by human activities ('daytime elephant refuges'). The occurrence of crop-raiding was predicted by settlement density, distance from daytime elephant refuges and percentage of cultivation. However the relationship between crop-raiding and sixeight candidate variables varied with sampling extent, with some variables diminishing in importance at a finer spatial scale. This suggests a tiered approach to HEC management, with different interventions to address factors important at different spatial scales. Our results show that small-scale farms are particularly vulnerable to crop-raiding at settlement densities below approximately 20 dwellings per km2, above which crop-raiding declines. Land-use planning is therefore critical in preventing settlement patterns that leave farms vulnerable to crop-raiding by elephants. Where human-elephant conflict exists, efforts should focus on identifying and managing elephant refuges, through the use of electrified fences where resources are sufficient to construct, maintain and enforce them. This approach has been adopted for mitigating human-elephant conflict in Laikipia and with a major investment in resources and human capital it has been successful. Where such resources and human capital are not available then efforts should instead focus on the application of farm-based deterrents among vulnerable farms.
DOI Link: 10.1080/14772000.2010.533716
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