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 Elephant management needs to be based on science and evidence rather than outdated beliefs and false assumptions.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.
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