Project Description

HEC Abatement: Deterrents, Ecological Correlates, and Climate Smart Agriculture Practices, 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 often devastating for subsistence farmers. This study will investigate 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 be studied to explore connections to crop raiding. This project is also part of a larger Earthwatch study on climate-smart agriculture practices for sustainable farming and the perpetuation of wilderness in the Kasigau corridor between Tsavo East and West National Parks in Kenya.