Approaches and techniques for managing human-elephant conflicts in Western Serengeti, Tanzania

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Sokoine University of Agriculture


Human-elephant conflicts (HEC) have been persistent in Ikorongo-Grumeti Game Reserves (IGGRs) and the adjacent communities of Bunda and Serengeti districts, Mara region. This study aimed to identify factors leading to HEC, examine losers and gainers, determine barriers to applied measures and suggest new approaches and techniques for effective mitigation of HEC. Data collection involved direct observations, key informant interviews and household survey using questionnaires. The analysis was done using R, SPSS and MS Excel computer softwares. Results showed that factors that significantly influenced HEC occurrence (P<0.05) were crop raiding incidences, increasing elephant population, encroachment, lack of clear buffer zone, lack of compensation plan, infrastructure damages and direct elephant attack. Major effects of HEC in the study villages were crop damage (99%), infrastructure damage (36%), domestic animal killings (18.7%) and human killings and injury (18.3%). Farmers were the main losers, whereas in 2017 about 46.6% of cultivated farms were destroyed and none of which was compensated. On the other hand, corrupt village leaders seemed to gain from the conflicts. The major barriers to HEC mitigation measures included few and large distance between scout camps, use of poor tools like handheld torches, inadequate manpower in HWC mitigation units, and ability of elephants to adapt to most of the detterents used by farmers. A number of non- conventional mitigation measures were identified and recommended; namely construction of trench (95.3%), electric fencing (92.7%), establishment of buffer zone management units (BZMUs) (92.7%), geo- fencing system (92.3%), Wireless Sensing Network (WSN) (85.3%), translocation of problem elephants (11.7%), and evacuation of people near PAs boundaries (22%) as HEC prevention and mitigation measures with long-term impacts. Generally, no single solution is effective as different approaches need to be intergrated to address the problem proactively. Hence, it is recommended that community involvement in decision-making and policy formulation should be emphasized for effective implementation of proposed mitigation measures.


MSc. Dissertation 2018


Human-elephant conflicts, Effective mitigation techniques, Ikorongo-Grumeti Game Reserves, Western Serengeti, Tanzania