Hungry elephant in the room

Although no elephants participated, the Human – Elephant Conflict Resolution Workshop for farmers held in Sueng Sang, Nakorn Ratchasima Province, today saw positive discussion of humane solutions to the lingering problem of crop damage caused by hungry elephants.

Thap Lan National Park, the Eastern Forest Complex Elephant Conservation Association and FREELAND Foundation jointly hosted one-day discussion panel for 64 local farmers aimed at mitigating human and elephant conflicts around the park to avoid loss of elephant or human life.

Drawing on knowledge gained from last year’s study tour Western Thailand’s Salak Phra Wildlife Sanctuary (around which similar problems have been successfully mitigated), both short-term and long-term solutions were discussed at the workshop, including planting more trees, digging ditches around villages, as well as measures to increase food and water sources for elephants inside the National Park and away from farms.

Preventing tree clearing, forest encroachment and ecosystem degradation to maintain large habitat corridors are the best overarching ways to stop elephants leaving the forest in search of food and water during the dry season.

With support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, FREELAND is working closely with park chiefs, rangers and communities surrounding the Dong Phayayen-Khao Yai Forest Complex to monitor and protect elephants and other endangered wildlife, and find long-term solutions to pressing conservation issues.

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