Project to Reduce Human/Elephant Conflicts in Benoue, Cameroon
The primary benefits of this project will be to re-establish and maintain the historically benign relationship the local people around Benoue have had with the Benoue elephants. This conservation/ research project mitigates human/elephant conflicts within 80 km of Benoue National Park (North Province, Cameroon) and assists stakeholders in establishing sustainable environments for the elephants and the people in the area.
Radio/satellite tracking collars will be placed on two high-ranking cows from an established herd in Benoue National Park. Researchers will use the tracking data to monitor the herd’s movements and to provide an early-warning system to disperse rangers into the field to divert the herd away from crops or from human settlements. Researchers will also use the data to update the herd’s home range and to search for environmental factors that may be prompting the elephants’ movements and government staff will use these data to concentrate anti-poaching patrols in high-use areas and to support strategic planning for sustainable use of the shared human and elephant habitat that surrounds the park.
In addition, a series of 10 community-based workshops with stakeholders living in the region will be conducted to provide training in non-lethal ways to divert elephants and to address concerns these people express about elephant conservation. Major outputs include an anticipated decline of 80 percent in human/elephant conflicts and a decline of 50 percent or more in crop losses, updated mapping of elephant movements and land use for long-term conservation planning, and the first systematic study of elephant use of corridors linking three national parks in Cameroon’s heartland (Faro, Benoue and Bouba Ndjidah), an elephant protection zone that extends across Cameroon and encompasses more than 23,000 km.
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