An experimental test of community-based strategies for mitigating human–wildlife conflict around protected areas

Paola S. Branco, Jerod A. Merkle, Robert M. Pringle, Lucy King, Tosca Tindall, Marc Stalmans, Ryan A. Long

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Natural habitats are rapidly being converted to cultivated croplands, and crop-raiding by wildlife threatens both wildlife conservation and human livelihoods worldwide. We combined movement data from GPS-collared elephants with camera-trap data and local reporting systems in a before–after-control-impact design to evaluate community-based strategies for reducing crop raiding outside Mozambique's Gorongosa National Park. All types of experimental fences tested (beehive, chili, beehive and chili combined, and procedural controls) significantly reduced the number of times elephants left the Park to raid crops. However, placing beehive fences at a subset of key crossing locations reduced the odds that elephants would leave the Park by up to 95% relative to unfenced crossings, and was the most effective strategy. Beehive fences also created opportunities for income generation via honey production. Our results provide experimental evidence that working with local communities to modify both animal behavior and human attitudes can mitigate conflict at the human–wildlife interface.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere12679
JournalConservation Letters
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation

Keywords

  • African savanna elephant
  • Loxodonta africana
  • beehive fences
  • chili fences
  • crop raiding
  • human-dominated landscapes
  • keystone species
  • movement corridors

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'An experimental test of community-based strategies for mitigating human–wildlife conflict around protected areas'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this