Save elephants: help reduce
Like humans, elephants are social animals that communicate with each other. These highly intelligent animals have a long gestation period – after a 22-month pregnancy calves are nursed for more than six years after birth. Their strong familial bond doesn’t end there: several family units form clans, similar to how some cultures operate such as in the Chinese tradition.
The survival of elephants has been under threat not just from poaching, but from encroaching human activity on their habitat, often leading to human-elephant conflict.
Human-elephant conflict (HEC) causes significant impacts on community livelihoods and contributes to the loss of critically endangered wildlife. Elephants raiding crops damage livelihoods, reduce food security for farmers, and sometimes cause injury or death. In Tanzania, human-elephant conflict is to blame for 90 elephants killed each year, while the number of human deaths has increased from 39 in 2017 to 96 in 2019. Meanwhile, Tanzanian farmers since 2010 have claimed nearly HK$6 million in crop damage caused by elephants.
The practice thus ensures that farmers living near protected areas in Tanzania sustainably mitigate human-elephant conflict by implementing low-cost humane strategies. It also fosters a culture of coexistence by employing proven mitigation methods, thereby reducing retaliation while offering economic benefits to the community.
So far, the project has enlisted 3,240 Tanzanian farmers who now use chili fences to protect their crops from elephant invasions and has helped 107 community-based organisations to improve farmer livelihoods in recent years.
This project uses farmer-to-farmer training to educate landowners living in HEC hotspots on the use of chili fences to protect fields from elephants and empowers farmers to take responsibility and ownership of crop protection and wildlife conservation. The method has proven highly effective in deterring elephants from raiding crops, with no fence breaks reported over the last four years in project sites around Mikumi, Tarangire, Bariadi, Ruaha, Manyara, and Ngorongoro. In the coming year, we plan to continue implementing the project in these six landscapes, while expanding this community-based strategy in other priority elephant landscapes in Tanzania, as well as introducing the initiative to a pilot site in Kenya.
We need your help to save wild elephants and reduce human-elephant conflict using an effective solution.
Target: HK$ 552,500 to train 1,300 farmers