Event Title

Evaluating Methods Used to Mitigate Human Elephant Conflicts in Sri Lanka

Presenter Information

Yasoma Hulathduwa, Keiser University

Presentation Type

Poster

Location

University Student Center Ballrooms 1 & 2

Description

Asian elephants are close to extinction. Human development has reduced the habitats of elephants limiting them into fragmented habitats. Habitat loss has made the elephants roam into human habitats leading to inevitable conflicts with farmers. Although injuries and deaths to humans occur, elephants are losing the struggle for survival. Shooting, poisoning, accidents with trains and starvation are all common reasons reducing the numbers. In Sri Lanka, about 225 elephants have been killed by farmers annually since 2008 and elephants have killed about 60-80 people annually. Main conservation strategy in Sri Lanka has been to limit the elephants to protected areas by relocating the elephants into such areas and having electric fences constructed around the boundaries. However, in Sri Lanka, more than two thirds of elephants live outside protected areas and this strategy has not been very successful in mitigating the conflicts. Recent research using new technology such as satellite tracking looks promising. In satellite tracking, global positioning systems (GPS) are mounted inside a collar attached to an elephant’s neck, combined with a satellite communication transmitter that can provide valuable data on ranging, resource use and ecological requirements of the elephants. In environmental science courses, students are exposed to concepts such as habitat loss, endangered species, carrying capacity and bio diversity conservation methods. I have used the research on human elephant conflicts in Sri Lanka to reinforce these concepts and make the students critically evaluate the traditional and newer methods used in mitigating the conflicts.

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Evaluating Methods Used to Mitigate Human Elephant Conflicts in Sri Lanka

University Student Center Ballrooms 1 & 2