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Managing elephants in Sri Lanka: where we are and where we need to be

Author:

Prithiviraj Fernando

Centre for Conservation and Research, Rajagiriya, LK
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Abstract

Asian elephants are ‘endangered’ but come into significant conflict with humans. Sri Lanka holds an important position in relation to Asian elephants, both in terms of species conservation and human-elephant conflict mitigation. Historical aspects of the two main conservation agencies and lack of coordination between them has prevented a landscape level holistic approach to conservation in general and elephants in particular. The primary objective of elephant management is human-elephant conflict mitigation and secondarily elephant conservation. Many human-elephant conflict mitigation activities are ineffective and in some cases cause its escalation and wider spread. Others are extremely detrimental to elephant conservation. Effective human-elephant conflict mitigation and elephant conservation requires a paradigm change. Elephant management needs to be based on science and evidence rather than outdated beliefs and false assumptions. Unless immediate and effective remedial measures are taken, human-elephant conflict will continue to escalate and the elephant population continue to decline.

 

Ceylon Journal of Science (Bio. Sci.) 44 (1) : 1-11, 2015

DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjsbs.v44i1.7336
How to Cite: Fernando, P., (2015). Managing elephants in Sri Lanka: where we are and where we need to be. Ceylon Journal of Science (Biological Sciences). 44(1), pp.1–11. DOI: http://doi.org/10.4038/cjsbs.v44i1.7336
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Published on 18 Sep 2015.
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