When humans and elephants fight (Thailand)
If a wildlife sanctuary is too small, elephants stray into villages in search of food and damage croplands of farmers.
With their very large feet, elephants easily destroy things, such as the watermelon in the photo above, causing damage they perhaps didn't intend to cause.
The government has been urged to give more financial aid to prevent conflicts between people and the rising wild elephant population in Chachoengsao's Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary.
Thailand has around 3,000 wild elephants, of which about 270 live in Khao Ang Rue Nai.
But with the sanctuary only fit to accommodate 160, and the elephant birth rate of 20 per year far exceeding the death rate, the population is growing and bringing the animals into more frequent contact with humans.
The elephants sometimes roam into villages on the edge of protected areas in search of food, damaging crops and farmland, said Boonchu Yophu, head of Khao Ang Rue Nai.
He was speaking at a seminar held by Kasetsart University in Bangkok's Chatuchak district yesterday on ending the conflict between humans and elephants.
Mr Boonchu said the main problems in the sanctuary were the hunting of wildlife and the wild elephant population seeking food in residential areas.
The elephants have been known to stray as far as 180 kilometres from their natural territory.
"The overpopulation of wild elephants is the main reason for them going to find food in the villages," he said.
At the same time, the community is expanding and moving closer to the sanctuary boundary.
He called on the new government to increase financial compensation for the villagers affected by wild elephants.
The existing compensation rate ranges from 414 baht per rai to 786 baht per rai depending on the type of crops damaged. Mr Boonchu says this is not enough.
Chachoengsao provincial governor Kitti Sapwisut said that several measures were already in place to prevent elephant invasion, such as a 160 kilometre ditch dug to clearly define the "border" between people and elephants.
However, while successful to a degree, it hasn't stopped all elephants.
Mr Kitti said further measures, such as sterilisation of some elephants, needed to be discussed with animal welfare experts.
"It is important for villagers to learn how to live with wild elephants peacefully and safely," he said.
To disperse them with firecrackers would scare them and they could then possibly harm the villagers.
The governor added that the incoming government should support efforts to prevent further human-animal conflicts.
Wanchai Arunpraparat, dean of Kasetsart University's faculty of forestry, explained that a proper habitat for wild elephants was 40% grassland and 60% forest, but Khao Ang Rue Nai Wildlife Sanctuary only has 1.94% grassland.
However, Mattana Srikrachang, a senior expert from the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation, said that growing more food plants for wild elephants is not the right solution because the animals should learn how to adapt themselves to their environment.
(Source: Bangkok Post, ECOLOGY, Government aid needed to halt human-elephant strife, 30/07/2011, Lamphai Intathep, link)
Ecology and Conservation Vocabulary
ecology - the branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and to their physical surroundings (See Wikipedia and Google Definitions)
conservation - the study and practice of how to protect animals and plants living in their natural habitats from harm; "the scientific study of the nature and status of Earth's biodiversity with the aim of protecting species, their habitats, and ecosystems from excessive rates of extinction. It is an interdisciplinary subject drawing on sciences, economics, and the practice of natural resource management," animal and wildlife conservation, conservation biology(See Wikipedia)
wild - animals and plants living in their natural habitat (environment, surroundings) such as the jungle or grasslands; not looked after (raised, grown) by humans
wild elephants - elephants living by themselves in the jungle (not raised and controlled by humans)
wildlife - animals living in the jungle (living in their "natural habitat")
wildlife sanctuary - wildlife sanctuary, a place where birds or animals can live and be protected, especially from hunters or dangerous conditions
sanctuary - same as "wildlife sanctuary"
protected areas - same as "sanctuary"
boundary - a real or imagined line that marks the edge or limit of something เขตแดน,เส้นแบ่งเขต
border - the official line separating two areas, regions or countries เขตแดน อาณาเขต (same as "boundary")
sanctuary boundary - the edges or limits of the protected area for animals and plants (the "wildlife sanctuary")
natural - found in nature (not made in a factory by humans) ตามธรรมชาติ what is expected and reasonable in a situation เป็นเรื่องปกติ ธรรมดา
territory - an area of land that is considered as belonging to or connected with a particular country or person (or here animal) ดินแดน
natural territory - an area of land that an animal or group of animals normally lives on
natural habitat - the kind of area where an animal normally lives (example: the natural habitat of the monkey is the jungle)
habitat - the type of place that a particular animal usually lives in or a particular plant usually grows in ถิ่นที่อยู่ของพืชหรือสัตว์
grassland - land covered with grass growing wild (not planted by people) (See Wikipedia)
proper habitat - the right or correct type of place for an animal to live in
proper habitat for wild elephants - the right place for wild elephants to live in
welfare - good care and living conditions, in this case, well-being ความสะดวกสบาย, ความมีสุขภาพดี, สวัสดิภาพ
animal welfare - the well-being of animals both physical and psychological (See Wikipedia)
forestry - the science and skill of growing trees in forests, especially to produce wood (See Wikipedia)
faculty of forestry - the department in a university that teaches forestry
adapt - change to meet new situation and different conditions ทำให้เหมาะ, ทำให้เข้ากับ, ปรับ
environment - 1. same as "habitat"; the natural suroundings that an animal lives in; including the forest, trees, plants, rivers, weather, mountains; etc; 2. the natural world of land, sea, plants, and animals
adapt to environment - change so that you can live in a changing environment or habitat
population - all the people, animals or plants of a particular type or group who live in one country, area or place กลุ่มพืชและสัตว์ที่อาศัยอยู่ในบริเวณหนึ่ง
aid - help; assistance ความช่วยเหลือ
financial aid - help (by giving money) เงินช่วยเหลือ
halt - to stop หยุด หยุดนิ่ง
strife - fighting or disagreement between people or groups การต่อสู้กั การขัดแย้งกัน
halt human-elephant strife - end the fighting between humans and elephants
urged - requested them to do, begged them to do, enouraged people to do, tried to get them to do วิงวอน
conflicts - angry disagreements and fighting between people or groups ความขัดแย้ง
conflict - an angry disagreement between people or groups ความขัดแย้ง, ความไม่ลงรอยกัน
invasion - an occasion when one country's army goes into another country to take control of it by force การลุกล้ำอาณาบริเวณ (here: elephants going into an area that is not their area)
accommodate - to provide a place for someone ให้ที่พักพิง
exceeding - more than a certain amount
frequent - happening often เกิดขึ้นบ่อย
contact - having communication with or meeting between people ติดต่อ สัมผัส การพบปะ ติดต่อ ระหว่างคนสองกลุ่ม
roam - to move or travel around a place in no particular direction เดินโดยปราศจากจุดหมาย, เดินทางท่องเที่ยวโดยปราศจากจุดหมาย
search - to look somewhere carefully in order to find something ค้นหา
residential - with houses for families to live in (not businesses) บริเวณที่พักอาศัย
community - local people, all the people who live in a local area or place ชุมชน
stray - to move away from the place you should be at to another place
have been known to stray - they have strayed (according to what people "know")
reason - an explanation of an event, why an event happened เหตุ ; เหตุผล ; สาเหตุ
financial compensation - money that someone receives because something bad has happened to them เงินชดเชย
measures - actions taken to deal with a problem มาตราการ
measures in place - actions already taken to solve a problem
ditch - a long narrow open channel dug into the ground usually at the side of a road or field, which is used especially for supplying or removing water, or for dividing land คูน้ำ
sterilisation - a medical procedure to prevent a person from having babies in the future (See Wikipedia)
experts - people who know a lot about a subject, have studied and done research in the subject for a long time
disperse - to make a crowd of people (or animals) leave a place, going in different directions สลายฝูงชน to scatter or move away over a large area, or to make people do this ทำให้กระจัดกระจาย
harm (verb) - to cause damage ความเสียหาย (example: the elephants harmed the villagers)
support - help, by giving money, for example สนับสนุน
efforts - the work done towards achieving some goal, people trying to accomplish something, achieve a goal ความพยายาม
support efforts - help people achieve the goal (they are working towards)
dean - a senior official at a college or university, often the head of a faculty or department คณบดี (ทางการศึกษา)
faculty - a group of departments in a college which specialize in a particular subject or group of subjects คณะ