© Frank af Petersens

Human-Elephant Coexistence (HEC) Toolbox

We do not want to lose sight of perhaps the most significant issue for elephants today across Africa, that of an increasing human population, climate change and an ever-increasing fragmentation of wildlife areas. This is going to be one of the hardest threats to elephants to combat over the next 50 years.

Visiting various regions which are considered human-elephant conflict hotspots, we have witnessed a complete lack of protection for poor local farmers. Many complain that they are constantly raided, but quite a few of them don’t even have a simple fence to act as a barrier between them and the hungry elephants. There is a clear need for more awareness among farmers, empowering them to take care of their land, while increasing their love for the species, albeit from a safe distance.

Along with our Beehive fence manual, we are building into the toolbox lists of non-palatable crops to plant like chillies and cotton as shields for the ones elephants do like to eat, how to dig trenches around farms, potentially use of bright flashing lights and many more. Our hope is that an easy-to-use and DIY manual will revolutionize people’s lives, finally allowing the people that live with elephants a chance to marvel at the beauty of the animals we aim to save.

There is also scope for putting up a model site, potentially even just a regular home fitted with all the possible solutions we’ve complied, allowing field visits where people can see first hand all the things they can do to protect their farms.

To access the Human-Elephant Coexistence toolbox, click here.

© Meha Kumar