Ethnoelephantology

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From coexistence to conflict: Electric fences for elephants in Sri Lanka

Jayantha Jayewardena reports on Prithiviraj Fernando’s research on elephants and electric fences on the borders of  the Uda Walawe National Park. In the 1990s Elephants began frequenting an electric fence where they would interact with members of the public, receiving food, largely without conflict. Then, when the Department of Wildlife Conservation erected a second fence to separate the elephants from the humans, raiding began and a situation of coexistence became one of conflict. This story speaks to current thinking in human-elephant relations that is critical of fortress conservation models that try to separate the species.

elephant-at-elctric-fence

For the full story see: Wild elephants, people and an electric fence

Endangered Elephants: Past, Present and Future

In 2003 the Biodiversity and Elephant Conservation Trust hosted the Symposium on Human-Elephant Relations and Conflicts in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Edited by Jayantha Jayawardene, the conference proceedings were published as Endangered Elephants: Past, Present and Future.

Endangered Elephants


Many of the world’s leading elephant experts presented papers on elephants in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Laos, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania, covering topics on behaviour, captive management, conflict with humans, conservation projects and policies, crop-raiding, demography, genetics, habitat use, and social organization. For abstracts of the papers, see: http://www.elephantsinsrilanka.org/symposium2003.htm#2.