The number of incidents of human-elephant conflicts continues to rise in Southern India. Escalation could be attributed to human encroachment on natural environment, leading to fragmentation and decline in the quality of elephant habitat. Elephants enter human settlements and destroy crops and other vegetation. Methods adapted to safeguard crops can result in the death of elephants and humans. Several strategies have been tested to minimize these conflicts. The primary objective of our research is to provide an overview of the sources of this problem and strategies for its mitigation. The first part of the presentation will provide a background into the history of human encroachment into elephant habitats and the economic damages caused by elephants. The second part will highlight measures adapted to minimize conflicts, such as encouragement to farmers to switch to crops less desirable to elephants, increased protection for crop fields, and wildlife outreach programs. Through this study we are able to see how human demand for space and resources influences the environment and other species. In turn, those species can have an impact on human interests. With the increased demand for crops in India we see a degraded ecosystem and bottom up effects through the changing crop production.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/ann-reed/36/