Experimental Test of Elephant Deterrents and Ecological Correlates of Crop Raiding, Kenya
Human encroachment and agricultural development have compressed and fragmented the ranges for African elephants. Negative encounters with people result in human elephant conflict (HEC) with consequences such as loss of biodiversity, damage to canopy trees, poor relations between local peoples and wildlife officials, loss of livelihoods, and injury or death to people and elephants. The most common form of HEC is crop raiding, which is devastating for subsistence farmers. This study investigates means to reduce HEC through deterrents by testing the effectiveness of a variety of methods including beehive fences, capsaicin, and reflective metal strips, both on their own and when used in combination with each other. Behavioral and ecological correlates will also be studied to explore connections to crop raiding as will climate smart agriculture practices for sustainable farming.