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Relocating elephants fails to decrease human-wildlife conflict
Date:12/12/2012

e did not kill any humans and one elephant was shot and killed.

"There are many ongoing translocation projects based on the assumption that this technique is effective, and our joint study is the first comprehensive assessment of whether that's true," said Peter Leimgruber, SCBI research scientist and co-author of the paper. "We were stunned that translocation neither solves the conflict nor saves elephants."

Human-elephant conflict is a major conservation, socioeconomic and political issue across Asian elephant range in Asia and Africa. It is also one of the major threats to the survival of Asian elephants, which are listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Between 35,000 and 50,000 Asian elephants are left in the wild. Across elephant range hundreds of problem elephants are translocated each year.

"As you track the elephants, you identify with these animals, you see their struggles and understand why they're doing the things that ultimately get them killed," Leimgruber said. "But you also understand that elephants represent a serious threat to humans and their livelihood."

The paper's authors suggest that rather than focus on translocation, land managers and conservationists need to implement land-use plans that minimize crop raiding and create mixed-use zones that both humans and elephants can use, in addition to zones where only one or the other is allowed.


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Contact: Lindsay Renick Mayer
renickmayerl@si.edu
202-633-3081
Smithsonian
Source:Eurekalert

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