Environmental Blog

Human Elephant Conflict – Eruwewa

Posted on by Jaya

Jaya, Dr FernandoI travelled to Eruwewa village in North Central Province this October with Dr Fernando Prithiviraj, Sri Lanka’s foremost elephant conservationist.

We were there for the opening of an electric fence around the village, which has grown up on the transit point for elephants in the surrounding area.

Dr Fernando provided the materials for the fence, which the villagers will maintain themselves.

I then gave a talk on human elephant conflict to help the villagers co-exist with the local elephant population.

Wild Elephant Holding Area

Posted on by Jaya

For the past six months I have been working with Mr Chintaka, the park warden at Lunugamvehera National Park to map out a new home for elephants, which need to be moved from other parts of the country.

Wild elephant Lunugamvehera

Wild elephant Lunugamvehera

Sri Lanka has a big problem with wild elephants trampling crops and villagers are always asking the government to remove them.

The problem is that elephants have very strong home ranges and they will always try to get back to them.

This means that when the government moves them, they just break down fences, wires, even walls, then walk hundreds of kilometers to get back again.

Elephant feed

Elephant feed

This latest initiative is to create a new home range deep inside Lunugamvehera Park and put a big electric fence around it to keep the elephants secure.

I have been helping to map the vegetation inside this proposed zone so the Department of Wildlife and Conservation can work out how many male elephants can live there without the need for additional food being brought in.

When it opens, this part of the park will not be open to tourists.