Effectiveness of Low-Cost Deterrents to Protect the Crops from Elephants: A Case Study from North Kanara District, Karnataka, India
Sangram Parida1, Prachi Mehta1 And Jayant Kulkarni1. 1 Wildlife Research And Conservation Society, Pune
Introduction: What conservation problem or question does your study address?
Encroaching the forest cover and use the land for agricultural purposes is leading to an increase in human elephant conflict in areas inhibited by the wild elephants in the country. Local forest department try to offer reprieve in conflict intensity by installing solar fences and digging elephant proof trenches but due to lack of maintenance, these measures are not success. We motivated the local farmers to use some low cost measures keep the elephants out.
Methods: What were the main research methods you used?
As elephants prefer crop raiding during night times, we motivate the farmers to build up a watch tower on a massive tree nearer to crop field. We also motivated them to set up a trip alarm around the crop field.Farmers can easily prepared chilly ropes by grinding the pungent chilly along with tobacco powder, waste engine oil and grease. This pungent smelling paste should be gently applied on a coconut rope and tied up around the boundary.Chilly seeds along with dry husk of paddy, coconut pith, elephant dung, cattle dung and tobacco are set to fire at the boundary from where elephants usually enter into the farm.We motivate the farmers to use the catapult bomb. We also motivate farmers to use rotating fire ball Whenever the elephants enters into the field this is set to fire and rotated it in air. we also motivate the farmers to install log hives and pot hives fence in their farm boundaries.
Results: What are your most important results?
A total of78 farmers installed 94 trip alarms. A total of 8 farmers fenced their harvested paddy with chilly rope. Chilly smoke was found very effective as elephants avoided the smoke and change the direction but in some cases they entered from the opposite site where chili smoke was installed. Crackers with catapult rubber along with rotating fire ball were very effective measure tochase away the elephants by using this method.
Discussion: What are your important discussion points and what is the relevance of your results to conservation (if any)?
In this study we found that the farmers who are using those measures are very much benefitted as compare to the nearby farmers. All the farmers are advised to use those simple low cost measures and could able to keep the elephants out of the field.