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Elephant Conservation

Around 150 elephants and 50 people die every year as a result of the human elephant conflict in Sri Lanka. So what do you do? Put all the elephants in protected areas and fence them in? Unfortunately, the thousands of elephants living outside cannot be stuffed into a few protected areas. Therefore, we need to look for alternative strategies for elephant conservation.

In much of Africa, ivory poaching is the main problem confronting elephant conservation. However, with regards to Asian elephants, poaching is much less of an issue. Read more...

Instead, human-elephant conflict (HEC) is the major issue in conserving Asian elephants. Current elephant conservation strategy in Sri Lanka as well as rest of Asian elephant range is mainly directed towards mitigating HEC, and is based on limiting elephants to protected areas. To this effect elephants are translocated into protected areas and electric fences constructed on the boundaries of such areas. Read more...

Research done by us over the past decade, has demonstrated that this strategy is biologically unsound, that its continuation will be detrimental to elephant conservation, and that it will not mitigate the HEC. We have also shown that traditional landuse practices and elephant range outside the protected areas, are critical for elephant conservation. Read more...

Therefore, CCR has proposed a new elephant management strategy, that will manage elephants outside protected areas. Such managed areas together with protected areas, will form elephant conservation landscapes, providing a holistic and multidisciplinary elephant conservation strategy, which also involves and benefits local communities. Read more...