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.