Field Manual for Managing Human-Elephant Conflicts

Posted on 07 August 2023
Field Manual for Managing Human-Elephant Conflicts
© WWF-India
Human-elephant conflict (HEC) describes the various direct and indirect negative effects that come from humans and elephants competing over resources. HEC manifests in a range of ways. Sometimes, conflict escalates and results in the death of people and elephants - around 500 people are believed to be killed by elephants every year in India, and around 100 elephants are estimated to be killed by electrocutions, poisoning, train accidents, and poaching for ivory or other elephant parts. Crop and property damage by elephants is another visible manifestation of conflict. HEC also has more hidden repercussions. People who have to spend their nights guarding crops and property from elephants suffer from the ill effects of loss of sleep. The perpetual threat of elephants lurking in or near the village, or even breaking into a person’s home, can also cause chronic fear and stress in communities especially beset by HEC. Research suggests that elephants, also, become more stressed due to constantly being chased by people. For humans and elephants alike, conflict is a serious issue. To make elephant conservation more effective and socially just, human-elephant conflict must be minimized.

This “Field Manual for Managing Human- Elephant Conflict” (referred to as the Field Manual from here on) is based on the collective experience of WWF-India and Forest Department officials across several states, working to reduce HEC over decades. The document is intended to provide a coherent, systematic approach to dealing with HEC. The Field Manual is aimed to provide Forest Department officials with a set of best practices to reduce human-elephant conflict, promoting both human well-being and elephant conservation.
Donate to WWF

Your support will help us build a future where humans live in harmony with nature.