Is Elephant Proof trench an effective mitigating measure against human â€“ elephant conflict?
Human-Elephant Conflict (HEC) is one of the challenging issues posing on elephant conservation in all its ranges. Therefore, goodwill and tolerance level is decreasing among the affected people over time that could lead to animosity towards the elephant conservation. Various methods include traditional farm-based deterrents (the use of watchtowers, fires, ditches and loud noises) and novel farm-based deterrents have been tried to reduce HEC. The Elephant Proof Trench (EPT) is recognized as a potential means of reducing HEC. The effectiveness of EPT in controlling HEC (particularly by large species such as elephants) depends on various factors which have not been looked so far. This paper describes the effectiveness of EPT in three different geographical landscapes in Tamil Nadu, South India. In a total 470.48 km of EPTes studied in Coimbatore Reserve Forest Division (CRFD), Gudalur Reserve Forest Division (GRFD) and Grizzled Giant Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary (GGSWS) altogether. Entire EPT length was walked by foot to record wild animal and livestock crossing points. Line transect method was deployed to find out extent of use by wild animals along the EPT and questionnaire method was used to understand the people’s perception on EPT. The result revealed that there were
727 animal crossing points and 909 othern than animals crossing points. The Elephant (0.63 ER/Km) was the frequently used animal species which was followed by Wild boar (0.52 ER/km) and Gaur (0.24 ER/Km). The people opined that
there was no change in area of cultivation (96%) and cropping pattern (96%) after the establishment of EPTes. Most of the people (85%) have perception that the maintenance is the duty of forest department. Huge amount is being spent for
digging EPT every year by the forest department is ending with poor result is unfortunate. This present study is envisaged that policy level change is urgently warranted for successful use of EPT grant against HEC.
Keywords: Elephant, EPT, effectiveness, HEC, Tamil Nadu.
Citation: *, ( 2018), Is Elephant Proof trench an effective mitigating measure against human â€“ elephant conflict?. Scientific Transactions in Environment and Technovation Journal(STET), 12(1): 39-45
Received: 08/18/2017; Accepted: 09/26/2018;