Prevalence and Severity of Current Human-Elephant Conflicts in Amboseli Ecosystem, Kenya: Insights from the Field and Key Informants


Few animals elicit such drastically different human emotions, so do elephants. Elephants capture the affection of people but also inspire animosity and fear at the same time. This is because there are conflicts with people over space, critical resources, costs of damages and general insecurity to people. This paper examined field evidence and interviewed expert key informants on current intensity and frequency of human-elephants in Amboseli Ecosystem. According to them, generally, the most prevalent (score of 1 lowest to 10 highest) threats to elephants were competition for critical resources (6.32 ± 0.44) followed by blocking of migration (6.24 ± 0.46), harassment of elephants (4.83 ± 0.75), poaching (4.57 ± 0.37), and retaliatory killings (3.78 ± 0.31). For threats that elephants pose to people, the most prevalent one was crop raiding (6.95 ± 0.26) followed by environmental degradation (6.71 ± 0.46), general insecurity to people (5.76 ± 0.65), property destruction (5.16 ± 0.41), injury and death to livestock (3.78 ± 0.37), and injury and death to people (2.71 ± 0.27). For the severity of the threats, the highest score was given to crop raiding whose average score was 7.90 ± 0.24 followed by environmental destruction and degradation (6.89 ± 0.43), injury and death to people (6.72 ± 0.44), injury and death to livestock (6.36 ± 0.50), property destruction (5.78 ± 0.49), general insecurity to people (5.62 ± 0.64). Severity levels followed the same trend or varied slightly. These drivers of human-elephant conflicts need to be addressed decisively to protect both people and elephants. There is a need to ensure local people’s benefit from elephants through ecotourism investments such as wildlife sanctuaries, leasing critical space for elephants’ dispersal on acceptable terms, through appropriate compensation schemes for elephant costs, and supporting local community wildlife rangers to prevent conflicts.

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Okello, M. , Njumbi, S. , Kiringe, J. and Isiiche, J. (2014) Prevalence and Severity of Current Human-Elephant Conflicts in Amboseli Ecosystem, Kenya: Insights from the Field and Key Informants. Natural Resources, 5, 462-477. doi: 10.4236/nr.2014.59043.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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