Pattern and distribution of human-elephant conflicts in three conflict-prone landscapes in Myanmar
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Human-elephant conflicts (HEC) are detrimental for both humans and elephants. A better understanding of HEC enhances effective mitigation strategies and promotes the wellbeing of humans and wild elephants. This study assesses the pattern and distribution of HEC in three different HEC hotspots in Myanmar and identifies local factors that contribute to HEC. A face-to-face questionnaire survey was performed in three HEC landscapes in 30 villages. Our study showed that larger croplands were more vulnerable to crop attacks. Crop damage was found more frequent and was more severe in the more deforested landscapes. The landscapes with higher human density and where local people frequently encountered elephants, were at higher risk to elephant attack. Our results indicate that distance to the forest reserves influenced the incidents of HEC most. We suggest the implementation of land-use plans in the potential elephant migration areas to mitigate HEC and improve the local resilience to economic vulnerability due to HEC.