Archived project

Sri Lanka: Surveying elephants and helping to solve human-elephant conflict in and around Wasgamuwa National Park

Goal: Surveying elephants and helping to solve human-elephant conflict in and around Wasgamuwa National Park, Sri Lanka, through citizen science. OUTCOME: This project studied human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka in 2005 and had to be cancelled due to the then civil war that flared up in the region in the subsequent years.

Date: 4 September 2005 - 19 April 2006

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Matthias Hammer
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The Asian elephant is an endangered species and the main challenge confronting its conservation is conflict with humans. The north-central part of Sri Lanka, where Wasgamuwa is situated, is an important area for elephant conservation. Due to the opening up of extensive tracts of land for irrigated agriculture over the past few decades, as over most of Sri Lanka, human-elephant conflict has become a threat to the survival of elephants in this region. While the toll on elephants makes it an important conservation issue, the impact on humans makes it an important socioeconomic and political issue. One of the main constraints in developing and implementing a successful conservation and management plan, in Sri Lanka as well as the rest of Asia, has been the lack of baseline data on elephant ecology, behaviour and human-elephant conflict. Management activities without consideration of elephant biology have failed effectively to address the human-elephant conflict and may in fact be detrimental to the survival of elephants.
Matthias Hammer
added a project goal
Surveying elephants and helping to solve human-elephant conflict in and around Wasgamuwa National Park, Sri Lanka, through citizen science. OUTCOME: This project studied human-elephant conflict in Sri Lanka in 2005 and had to be cancelled due to the then civil war that flared up in the region in the subsequent years.