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Environmental Analysis & Ecology Studies

A Geospatial Analysis of Elephant Crop Damage in the Ommunities Adjacent to the Serengeti National Park and Grumeti Game Reserve, Tanzania

Submission: December 2, 2019; Published: September 30, 2020

DOI: 10.31031/EAES.2020.07.000660

ISSN: 2578-0336
Volume 7 Issue 2


A study was conducted in the communities nearby the Serengeti National Park and Grumeti Game Reserve to investigate a spatial configuration of human-elephant interactions. Elephant crop damage was the most common adverse impact of the interactions. The researchers used geographic information systems to assess the distribution, hotspots, coldspots and relationships between elephant crop damage and environmental features in the Bunda District, Tanzania. The study unveiled six hotspots and three coldspots. Four hotspots occurred adjacent to Grumeti Game Reserve and two hotspots near the Serengeti National Park. Of all elephant crop damage incidents, 66% occurred in the village bordering Grumeti Game Reserve, 28% in the villages bordering the Serengeti National Park and 6% in the village the bordered none of the protected areas. There were significant hotspots of elephant crop damage in villages near Grumeti Game Reserve, and significant coldspots in the communities disconnected from protected areas. Trophy hunting in Grumeti Game Reserve is a probable factor for the presence of the significant hotspots as tourist hunting usually affects the movement and foraging behaviors of certain species. More importantly, unplanned hunting also affects the diversity of key ecological species that are habitat in the habitat manipulation and restoration. In addition, the geographical setting of the study might have contributed to the presence of many concentrations of crop damage incidents near Grumeti Game Reserve. As the majority, nine (75%) villages involved in the study are next to Grumeti Game Reserve and three (25%) villages border the Serengeti National Park. There was also a high concentration of elephant crop damage near rivers and protected areas, which decreased with increased geographical distance from the edge of these features.

Keywords: Bunda district; Cold spots; Conservation corridor; Crop damage; Elephant death; GIS; Grumeti game reserve; Hot spots; Human-elephant interactions; Kernel density; Serengeti national park; Trophy hunting

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