Wakoli and Sitati
Greener Journal of Environment Management and Public Safety Vol. 1 (1), pp.027 - 037,November 2012
ISSN: 2354-2276 © 2011 Greener Journals
Manuscript Number: 102412137
Analysis of temporal and distribution patterns of elephant attacks on humans and elephant mortality in Transmara District, Kenya
Elizabeth N. Wakoli and Noah Sitati.
Moi University, Department of Wildlife Management, P.O Box 1125, Eldoret;
World Wide Fund for Nature, P.O Box 62440 – 00200, Nairobi.
Corresponding Author’s Email: n_wasilwa @ yahoo.com
The purpose of this study was to examine the spatial and temporal pattern of elephant attacks on people and elephant mortality in Transmara District, Kenya. The study was also aimed at assessing the impact of preventive and corrective mitigation measures employed to minimize the human-elephant conflict. Increasing human-elephant conflict is expected to exert a huge burden on Kenya’s economy and health care services because the current conflict mitigation interventions are ad hoc, ‘wait and see’ and ineffective due to a large elephant range. Using conflict records from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) and World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) for a ten (10) year period (2000-2009), the study examined the conflict patterns in Transmara District, part of the Greater Mara ecosystem. The data was subsequently analyzed and compared using Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) and Chi square test of goodness of fit. The results showed that the number of conflict incidences varied by year, at an average of one person annually. Elephant attacks on humans, is well explained by the independent variables i.e., time of day, proximity to the forest, gender, and state of the person. An average of five dead elephants was recorded every year under different circumstances. Based on these findings, the study recommends measures to reduce conflict in Transmara Conflict. These include sensitization of the local people at times of peak conflict season especially in conflict prone days (e.g., traditional ceremonies) and seasons (e.g., Christmas) on ways to avoid attack, ensuring that community scouts are constantly trained to ensure that they are up to date with contemporary conflict mitigation strategies at all times, learning from other elephant range states with better conflict mitigation strategies and ensuring adequate and long-term funding for conflict mitigation projects. These measures, if well executed, can reduce elephant attacks on people and subsequently minimize retaliatory killing of elephants in Transmara District and Kenya in general. These findings are important for future planning of elephant range into zones with sustainable land use types and to influence policy formulation that can safeguard elephant conservation and guarantee people’s security.
Keywords: Transmara District, Injury, death, elephant, humans, conflict.