Elephants on the Road: Thailand Looks for Solutions to Human-Elephant Conflicts

As more areas of Thailand experiencing development, they may see more risky encounters with elephants crossing roads, making both elephants and humans prone to accidents. So organizations like WWF Thailand are looking for ways to conserve wildlife in the face of Thailand's development.

“Incidents of elephants getting hit happen from time to time, as some of the elephant movement areas have been converted to development areas, including roads,” says Dr. Arnold Sitompul, WWF Thailand conservation director. “New infrastructure development certainly needs to take wildlife movement as a critical factor.”
“In Ang Re Nai, for example, we have collared two individual elephants from two different groups to understand their movement so we can anticipate the HEC (human elephant conflict) before it becomes massive,” says Sitompul, adding that they are aiming to collar four more elephants in a separate group to get more information. “This preventive measure has been quite successful to reduce the scale of HEC in the community areas.”
“In the context of elephants getting killed by cars, sometimes it is unavoidable, as they are constantly moving,” says Sitompul, adding that the Department of National Parks, Wildlife and Plant Conservation (DNP) has been working hard to put elephant signs on the main roads so that drivers will be aware of the potential elephant crossings.

(Image credit: stbaumgaertner/Pixabay)

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