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
2019 Conservation Letters  
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
more » ... ombined, 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. K E Y W O R D S African savanna elephant, beehive fences, chili fences, crop raiding, human-dominated landscapes, keystone species, Loxodonta africana, movement corridors This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
doi:10.1111/conl.12679 fatcat:yniwr33kfneozd7bcvn73vosbq