A Sustainable Solution for Human Elephant Conflict (HEC) in Sri Lanka: Palmyra Bio-fencing

During the first year, our team has been able to plant 235,000 Palmyra seeds at three sites covering about 13 km. of a fencing stretch. Palmyra Bio-fencing is an animal-friendly, sustainable, cost effective tree planting program that provides benefits both to wild elephants and underprivileged rural communities affected by wild elephants.

Palmyra bio-fencing is an alternative to short-lived electric fencing technology commonly practiced to mitigate human elephant conflict. Although Palmyra bio-fencing is considered as a new technology for mitigating human elephant conflict, this technology has been in practice in the past by the villagers of Sri Lanka for various other purposes. In many cases, this has been used as a cattle barrier, farmland demarcation boundary or in some cases as a parapet wall to home gardens in rural areas. The proposed Palmyra fencing technology for mitigating the HEC is somewhat different from the traditional way of erecting fences. Under the proposed technology, it is suggested installing four lines of Palmyra trees in zigzag pattern having 5 feet gap between plants and 8 feet gap between rows.