Human-Elephant conflict mitigation methods: A review of effectiveness and sustainability
Keywords:Beehive fences, coexist, elephants, electrical fencing, sustainable
Human-elephant conflicts (HEC) have resulted in a substantial loss in livelihood and human lives, consequently, the affected communities retaliate by harming or killing the elephants. Thus, measures to mitigate HEC are imperative for the successful conservation of elephants, and to ensure the coexistence of the local population with these animals. Numerous HEC mitigating methods have been implemented. I reviewed 19 different HEC mitigation methods to assess their successes and failures, as well as their sustainability. Methods that required the regular presence of humans for their implementation and functionality tended to be very tedious and unsustainable since the uptake of such methods would be very low. Also, methods that posed no threat to elephants were unsustainable as elephants become used to the methods. Approaches that are affected by weather conditions are unsustainable. Methods that were very expensive to implement are also unsustainable as the method would be abandoned when funding ends. However, electrical fencing was effective and sustainable since it doesn`t depend on the physical presence of humans for it to prevent elephant destruction, especially when a sustainable finance mechanism is assured to ensure monitoring and maintenance of the fence. Beehive fences are also very effective especially when colonization of the hives is assured, and this method is very sustainable as it is cost-effective and honey from the hives could generate income for the population. Also, methods aimed at habitat modification are sustainable since habitat improvement increases the comfort and resources elephants need to live in their habitat.
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