AN INVESTIGATION ON INTENSITY OF RECORDED HUMAN ELEPHANT CONFLICT, MEASURES TAKEN TO MITIGATE AND THE BODY CONDITION OF ELEPHANTS OBSERVED IN A WILDLIFE PROTECTED AREA, SRI LANKAAuthors: A.S.C.Wilson,U.K.G.K.Padmalal,S. Jayakody
Human elephant conflict has gained more attention than ever but solutions have done little to solve the problem. As the issues are area specific it is important to understand the context at each locality to propose mitigatory measures. A study was conducted to identify the trends in human and wild elephant deaths in and around Maduru Oya National Park. Data were collected from Department of Wildlife Conservation. Also, body condition of elephants found in the park were assesses using the methodology developed by Fernando et al 2009. Additionally, electric fences in the vicinity of the national park were ground truthed and were mapped using ArcGIS. Both the human deaths and animal deaths are escalating in Maduru Oya. In 2018 alone17 human deaths and 64 elephants deaths have been reported in Eastern Wildlife Region of which 8 human deaths and 28 Elephant deaths are from Maduru Oya. A total of 160.91km is currently fenced but the park is opened from North eastern and South western as these are the in and exit for migration. During May to December 2018, a total of 105 elephants were photographed at the most feasible nearest distance, and only the photographs that showed that side profile of elephants was used in scoring (49 photographs that showed side profile during the study). Results indicated that average body condition score of elephants as 5.56 (±1.4128). The average male body condition score was 5.5744 (±1.4256) and the average female body condition was 5.5434 (±1.4252). Preliminary results indicated that males have a slightly better body condition score than the females. Behaviourally, males tend to take the risk of foraging outside the protected areas which is a frequent issue in the periphery of Maduru Oya, perhaps indicating the reason for better body condition than females. It evident from the results that despite the presence of electric fences the intensity of conflict is increasing and at the same time body condition of the elephants are moderate. Either habitat enrichment within the national park or solutions other than electric fences that can allow elephants to migrate whilst safe guarding humans and their property is needed.
Keywords: Asian elephants, body condition, body condition score, nutrition, Wildlife Protected areas Maduru Oya National Park
How to Cite: Wilson,A.S.C,Padmalal,U.K.G.K, Jayakody,S, (2019). AN INVESTIGATION ON INTENSITY OF RECORDED HUMAN ELEPHANT CONFLICT, MEASURES TAKEN TO MITIGATE AND THE BODY CONDITION OF ELEPHANTS OBSERVED IN A WILDLIFE PROTECTED AREA, SRI LANKA.WILDLANKA, 7(3):Pages 127-134
Department of Wildlife Conservation,
No: 811/A, Jayanthipura,