1Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh
2Department of Biology, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway
3573 Cameron Street SE, Atlanta, Georgia 30312, United States
4Department of Pali, University of Chittagong, Bangladesh
*Corresponding author: AHM Raihan S, Institute of Forestry and Environmental Sciences, University of Chittagong, Chattogram 4331, Bangladesh
Submission: July 07, 2022; Published: August 11, 2022
Human conflict with Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) is a critical challenge for the conservation of the species in Bangladesh. Thus, the primary aim of this study was to check the conflict status between humans and wild elephants within the Teknaf Wildlife Sanctuary (TWS). Fifty-two respondents were randomly interviewed from both the local Bengali and Rohingya communities across the TWS using a semi-structured questionnaire. Our analyses show that wild elephants sometimes move into Rohingya camps and surrounding villages. Bengali residents reported higher incidence of encountering wild elephants than did Rohingya people. A majority of respondents were frightened upon seeing wild elephants, and they reported that elephant attacks caused human injury and death in their communities. Our analysis showed further that most elephant attacks took place during winter between evening and midnight. To deter wild elephants from their villages and camps, more than two-thirds of respondents used traditional deterrence techniques like fires, rock throwing, and group shouting, whereas one-third of respondents employed modern technology like Elephant Response Teams (ERTs), torch/flashlight, hand mikes, and watchtowers with solar-powered flashlights. One-fifth of respondents expressed satisfaction with the effectiveness of modern deterrence techniques. To minimize human-elephant conflict, respondents suggested introducing a variety of interventions. These include forming more ERTs, training residents on modern deterrence techniques, and raising awareness through environmental education programs. Respondents further suggested restoring traditional elephant migration corridors, developing core elephant habitat containing the animal’s preferred food species, creating buffer zones with human-preferred plant species so as to reduce dependency on nearby forests (and to avoid wild elephants), and installing solar fencing and bio-fencing to deter elephants from settlements.
Keywords:Teknaf wildlife sanctuary; Attitude; Rohingya; Wild elephants