Framework of most effective practices in protecting human assets from predators

We found out that the most effective interventions are electric fences, guarding animals, calving control and physical deterrents; the most effectively protected asset is livestock; and the most effective interventions are used to protect assets from cheetahs, Eurasian lynx, wolves and lions.

Effectiveness was measured as the relative risk (RR), which was transformed to the percentage of damage reduction (DR) for easy interpretation. The formula is simple: DR = (1-RR)*100%. RR is the probability of damage when an intervention is applied divided by the probability of damage without an intervention. The formula of the relative risk is also simple: RR = (nt/Nt)/(nc/Nc), where nt is the number of losses (livestock, beehives, etc.) with the intervention, Nt is the total number of the resource with the intervention (livestock, beehives etc.), nc is the number of losses without the intervention and Nc is the total number of resource without the intervention. The letter “t” stands for treatment (with intervention) and “c” for control (without intervention).

Interventions are effective when RR is less than 1, ineffective at RR = 1 and counter-productive (interventions produce more damage) when RR is higher than 1. Interventions are most effective when RR = 0, i.e. no losses are inflicted when the intervention is applied (nt = 0).

25 June 2020

Insurance Scheme for devasted crops

An insurance scheme has been created through partners (EU) support and also with the villagers subscribing to the insurance with 2500FCFA/per hectare/year (4$/hectare/year) to insured their fields. Then during the devastation, the policyholders notify the park managers in order to assess the damage through a report. Compensation is calculated proportionally: according to the plant damage (based on decree 06/970), the state of their fields and their monitoring efforts, the insured are then compensated twice a year. This insurance, therefore, compensates for the damage in monetary terms, trying to encourage the most appropriate behavior.

23 June 2020

Bee fencing

The bee fence is a simple barrier along which are arranged at regular intervals (10 m), hives suspended on a cable. Its operation is based on the observation that elephants would not approach within four meters of a hive (King et al., 2009). Despite the thickness of their skin, they are prone to bites on the proboscis or near the eyes.

Many studies have proven the effectiveness of this deterrent method. Indeed, for example, King et al. (2011) argue that hive fences can be a useful tool to deter elephants from entering agricultural land. Analysis of 32 intrusions has shown that elephants have only once crossed the hive fences to access the indoor crops and that the thorn acacia barriers offer no defense against such invasions.

The positive results of this study strongly support the installation of hive fences in the current elephant deterrent toolbox to be tested on a larger scale. Not only can these fences deter pachyderms, but bees provide farmers with honey and other products for sale, which helps diversify incomes.

When combined with other deterrents, the combination of initiatives could create an effective barrier against elephants.

12 May 2020

Chili farming or fencing

The establishment of buffer cultivation based on chilli or chili fencing made with sisal ropes soaked in motor oil mixed with ground chilli (Capsicum spp.) can scare elephants. The active ingredient in chilli, capsaicin, has the power to irritate the epithelium of mammalian cells by causing a burning sensation. It has been demonstrated by Chang’a et al. (2016) that peppers fences effectively discourage raiding of crops by elephants on the scale of individual farms. During the nine-year study, farmers around Mikumi National Park in Tanzania built these fences around maturing crops, and no incidents of fencing broken by elephants were reported.

12 May 2020

Plant barriers

Natural physical barriers made up of cacti and sisal have been tested in Mozambique to keep elephants away from agricultural plots, but few scientific publications exist on their effectiveness.

12 May 2020

Wildlife Friendly™ Certification and Species-specific Certifications for Products and Tourism

Wildlife Friendly™ certification is a global program providing best practice guidelines for farming, ranching, and other enterprises who seek to generate sustainable livelihoods while protecting key species of biodiversity. Our certification programs, also including species-focused initiatives such as Elephant Friendly™ Tea, Jaguar Friendly™ Coffee, and Wildlife Friendly™ IBIS Rice™, are trusted labels that guide consumers towards products that genuinely contribute to species and habitat conservation. Examples of Certified Wildlife Friendly™ and Certified Predator Friendly™ enterprises include producers of dairy, meat, poultry, honey, and crops that use non-lethal management practices and allow for the passage of wildlife and protection of habitat across productive lands. WFEN also certifies tourism enterprises under its core Certified Wildlife Friendly™ Tourism program, such as community-based tour operators and lodges, and others under its Certified Sea Turtle Friendly™ Tourism program, such as resorts that are protecting key sea turtle nesting and foraging habitat while minimizing other tourism related impacts on these species. Wildlife Friendly™ certification provides a science-driven framework for producers seeking to implement practices that support ecosystem integrity, while also requiring that local communities are actively involved and see real benefits from truly Wildlife Friendly™ practices. Consumers are willing to pay a small premium for these products, absorbing the cost often associated with the implementation of best practices for biodiversity. The stories behind certified products and producers build consumer brand loyalty and open access to new markets, while bringing benefits to local communities. Incentivizing best practices across the landscape works to ensure positive conservation outcomes and increased tolerance for wildlife. Across the globe, Wildlife Friendly™ certification and the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network are leading the way in promoting agriculture for biodiversity along supply chains and in promoting shared values, understanding, and respect between producers and consumers.

30 January 2020

Monetary compensation in Human Wildlife Conflicts

The scheme provides cash relief of 1 million NRs (1 USD equivalent to NRs 115 in 2019) in case of human deaths to victim family. The cash relief also compensates for crop damages, property loss and livestock loss. The scheme includes 14 wildlife species namely Bear, Tiger, Rhino, Elephant, Clouded Leopard, Common Leopard, Snow Leopard, Wild Buffaloes, Wildboar, Gaur Bison, Magar Crocodile, Python, Wild dog and Wolf. A procedure has been established. The process initiates with the application by victim families, verification by a committee representing government and local users. The budget is contributed by the Government of Nepal allocating through annual budget.

5 November 2019

HelP (Human elephant Project)

Human-elephant conflict (HEC) in Kaziranga’s southern part is mainly manifested in agricultural fields which makes it largely seasonal. The crop raiding is at its peak in winter when rice ripens -. Interestingly, a study conducted in the Manas Tiger Reserve in Assam indicates that HEC peaks during July-August for the summer crop and October for the winter crop. This could be attributed to the flooding pattern of KNP around July and August when a large number of elephants might have returned to the adjoining Karbi plateau at the advent of the floods. The seasonal characteristic of crop-raiding in Kaziranga stems from the fact that a large part of the elephant population in Northeast India remains in Assam during rice cultivation months. Elephants often use tea plantations to move around and quite often the tea gardens are contiguous with rice fields. The seasonal movement of elephants to Karbi plateau before the floods could effectively reduce the number of elephants around KNP villages in other seasons and thus could account for a different peak season of HEC in KNP in contrast to Manas Tiger Reserve.
When rice crop is still young, elephants stealthily descend on the rice fields when it is completely dark. As the crop starts bearing grain, elephants get impatient and quite often they can’t wait till it gets completely dark. You can see a herd of elephants leaving KNP and crossing Moridiffulo river around dusk.

25 September 2019

Damage Prevention Measures through the Greek Rural Development Programme

To facilitate the long-term sustainability of this measure, Greek eNGOs initiated an extensive consultation and negotiation processes with national competent authorities, mainly the Ministry of Rural Development and Food so that financial support for the measure would be included in the Greek Rural Development Programme (RDP). Within their Rural Development Programmes, Member States or regions in European Union make available public funds additional to the system of direct payments to farmers. At least 30% of funding for each RDP must be dedicated to measures relevant for the environment and climate change.
The inclusion of damage prevention measures in the Greek RDP was the outcome of these initiatives. The stakeholders addressed through these prevention measures were beekeepers, farmers, and livestock breeders.
For the first time, a measure for electric fences for apiaries and sheepfolds was included in the National RDP of Greece in the programming period 2000-2006, which foresaw financial support for the purchase and installation of electric fences by local producers. A similar preventive measure was included in the next RDP programming period between 2007 and 2013.

23 September 2019

Harmonizing human wildlife conflict

This conservation outreach initiative was conducted to people living in the buffer area of Jigme Khesar Strict Nature with focus on concepts of human wildlife interaction, conservation significant of wildlife and how to create better balance between human need and wildlife need through educational outreach program. Some of the villages were outreach program was also provided with the electric fencing with support from District Agriculture Office as a piloting activity.

23 September 2019
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