Environment, Development and Sustainability

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 547–565 | Cite as

Perceptions and patterns of human–elephant conflict at Barjora block of Bankura district in West Bengal, India: insights for mitigation and management

  • Kunal Chakraborty
  • Jhantu Mondal
Case Study


Human–elephant conflict is an issue of great concern regarding the growing competition between people and wildlife for food and shelter throughout Asia and Africa. The situation the Asian elephant faces is much critical. According to IUCN (Big hopes for endangered Asian Elephants, News Release, Gland, 2006), one of the prime factors to the decline of elephant population in India is the increasing trend in human–elephant conflict. Barjora block of Bankura district in West Bengal is one of the severe conflict prone zones in West Bengal, where elephant raid in every year has now become an inevitable phenomenon. As a result, crop damage, infrastructural damages, disturbances of daily activities, occurrence of human death and injuries have no doubt annihilated and frustrated the social fabric of life. This paper is an empirical attempt to address various consequences of human–elephant encounters which have an adverse impact on social, economic as well as the cultural life of the people. Instead of pursuing some traditional mitigation techniques, we argued much on understanding peoples’ perception to explore some sustainable mitigation measures to ensure the interest of both human and elephant and also to safeguard ecological integrity.


Human–elephant conflict Deep ecology Crop raiding Resettlement Ex-gratia payment Sustainable mitigation measures 



We are thankful to the local residents of Barjora block and the staffs of Bankura North Divisional Forest Office for their heartiest cooperation during the field work. We are also thankful to Sri. Mitrojit Chatterjee, Smt. Devomitra Chakraborty, Indrani Mukherjee for their valuable suggestions and clarifications.


  1. Bist, S. S. (2002). An overview of elephant conservation in India. The Indian Forester, 128, 121–136.Google Scholar
  2. Blamford, A., Moore, J. L., Brooks, T., Burgess, N., Hansen, L., Williams, P., et al. (2001). Conservation conflicts across Africa. Science, 291, 2616–2619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Daniel, C. K. F., & Dayang, N. A. A. B (2005). Guidelines on the better management practices for the mitigation and management of the humanelephant conflict in and around oil palm plantations in Indonesia and Malaysia. WWF, Pataling Jaya, Malaysia.Google Scholar
  4. Deep ecology. Accessed on 21 July 2011.
  5. Di Fonzo, M. M. I. (2007). Determining correlates of Human–elephant conflict reports within fringe villages of Kaziranga National Park, Assam. A thesis submitted to the University of London and the Diploma of Imperial College.Google Scholar
  6. Fernando, P., Wikramanayake, E., Weerakoon, D., Jayasinghe, L. K. A., Gunawardene, M., & Janaka, H. K. (2005). Perceptions and patterns of human–elephant conflict in old and new settlements in Sri Lanka: Insights for mitigation and management. Biodiversity and Conservation, 14, 2465–2481.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Final Technical Report. (2008). Man-elephant conflict in Sindhudurg and Kollapur district of Maharashtra, India. Ministry of Environment & Forest, Govt. of India. Accessed 11 June 2011.
  8. Hedges, S., & Gynaryadi, D. (2009). Reducing human–elephant conflict: Do chillies help deter elephants from entering crop fields? Fauna & Flora International. Oryx, 44(1), 139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Hill, C. M. (1998). Conflicting attitudes towards elephants around the Budongo Forest Reserve, Uganda. Environmental Conservation, 25, 244–250.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hoare, R. E. (2001a). A decision support system for managing human–elephant conflict solutions in Africa (pp. 1–110). Nairobi: African Elephant Specialist Group Report.Google Scholar
  11. Hoare, R. E. (2001b). A decision support system for managing human–elephant conflict situation in Africa. Nairobi, Kenya: IUCN/SSC AfESG.Google Scholar
  12. IUCN (2006). Big hopes for endangered Asian Elephants, News Release, Gland, Switzerland. pr_asian_elephant_htm. Accessed 10 August 2010.
  13. Jumbos scare away grooms-to-be! (In, The Statesman, 2010). Kolkata, Dated October 21.Google Scholar
  14. Karidozo, M., & Osborn, F. V. (2005). Can bees deter elephants from raiding crops? An experiment on the communal lands of Zimbabwe. Pachyderm, 39, 26–31.Google Scholar
  15. Marauding elephants gets CM’s protection (In, The Statesman, 2010), Kolkata, Dated July 29.Google Scholar
  16. Nelson, A., Bidwell, P., & Sillero-Zubiri, C. (2003). A review of humanelephant conflict management strategies. People & Wildlife, Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Oxford University, UK.Google Scholar
  17. O’Connell-Rodwell, C. E., Rodwell, T., Rice, M., & Hart, L. A. (2000). Living with the modern conservation paradigm: Can agricultural communities co-exist with elephant? A five year case study in East Caprivi, Namibia. Biological Conservation, 93, 381–391.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Osbaorn, F. E., & Parker, G. A. (2002). Living with elephant II: MZEP 37. Chisipite, Harare, Zimbabwe: Lewism Ave.Google Scholar
  19. Osborn, F., & Parkar, G. (2003). Towards an integrated approach for reducing the conflict between elephant and people: A review of current research. Orynx, 37, 80–84.Google Scholar
  20. Parker, G. E., Osborn, F. V., Hoare, R. E., & Niskanen, L. S. (eds.) (2007). Humanelephant conflict mitigation: A training course for community-based approaches in Africa. Participant’s Manual. Elephant Pepper Development Trust, Livingstone, Zambia and IUCN/SSC AfESG, Nairobi, Kenya.Google Scholar
  21. Pimm, S., Russle, G., Gittleman, J., & Brooks, T. (1995). The future of Biodiversity. Science, 269, 347–350.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Prasad, G., Shiny, R., Reghunath, R. & Prasannakumar.V (2011). A GIS-based spatial prediction model for human–elephant conflicts (HEC), Wildlife Biology in Practice 7(2).Google Scholar
  23. Sarma, U. K. & Easa, P. S. (2006). Living with Giants: Understanding human–elephant conflict in Maharastra and adjoining areas. An occasional report (No. 22) on Wild Species Project under the Human–elephant conflict mitigation cell of the Wildlife Trust of India in partnership with the International Fund for Animal Welfare.Google Scholar
  24. Singh, R. K. (2000). Effect of iron ore mining on the elephant habitat of Singhbhum forest, Bihar. A Ph.D thesis submitted to Saurastra University. Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.Google Scholar
  25. Singh, R.K. (2002). Elephants in exile: A rapid assessment of the human–elephant conflict in Chhattisgarh, The Wildlife Trust of India, Occasional Report No. 5.Google Scholar
  26. Singh, R. K., & Chowdhury, S. (1999). Effect of mine discharge on pattern of riverine habitat use of elephants Eliphus maximus and other mammals in Sinbhum forest, Bihar, India. Journal of Environmental Management, 57, 177–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Sukumar, R. (1994). Wildlife-human conflict in India: An ecological and social perspective. In R. Guha (Ed.), Social ecology (pp. 303–317). New Delhi: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  28. Vollarth, F., & Douglas-Hamilton, I. (2002). African bees to control African elephants. Naturwissenschaften 89, 508–511. Accessed 24 May 2010.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.S.N. CollegeLabpur, BirbhumIndia
  2. 2.Dr. B.N.D.S MahavidyalayaHatgobindapur, BurdwanIndia

Personalised recommendations