SAVING ELEPHANTS BY HELPING PEOPLE
Human-elephant conflict is a huge issue across Sri Lanka, but we believe its solution involves protecting not only elephants, but people too
One-hundred years ago, more than 20,000 wild Asian elephants inhabited Sri Lanka. Today, the population numbers about 5,000.
As rural human populations continue to grow and further encroach into wildlife habitat, the interface between wildlife and people grows increasingly diffused, and in some areas is nonexistent. Competition with wild elephants for adequate space for agriculture, forestry and other forms of human development creates deadly situations for both humans and elephants. Watch the video below to find out more about human-elephant conflict.
Recent analysis of the statistics within the past 5 years showed that the Wasgamuwa region contributes less than 2% to the national statistics on human-elephant conflict, including human deaths, elephant deaths, and number of properties damaged. This is mainly due to the work the Society has been doing for the last 18 years mitigating human-elephant conflict in Wasgamuwa.
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How do we help mitigate human-elephant conflict?
Wild elephant conservation and human-elephant conflict mitigation have been at the heart of our work for more than 20 years. Every day, our staff and volunteers:
Gather information on elephant population dynamics, health and behaviour
Collect essential environmental and soci-economic data to help develop community-based conservation programs
Observe, assess and document human-elephant conflicts
Build and mend electric fencing to protect agricultural crops and homes from damage by wild elephants
Educate the local community on human-elephant conflict, using our field guides