Here is a great article I just came across in the Black Star News that highlights the important and complicated issues around human – elephant conflict in Africa. Elephants traditionally ranged over thousands of miles. As population growth in Uganda presses in on their breeding and feeding grounds, conflict is inevitable, which is bad for agriculture and wildlife conservation.
The author sums it up well in this statement:
People are being displaced again, not by marauding humans but this time by elephants. The people lose their crops, livestock, property, and sometimes their lives. The animals, which are already endangered, will likely be killed in retaliation or to prevent future conflicts. And, if solutions to conflicts are not adequate, local support for conservation also declines. In order to be truly effective, prevention of human-wildlife conflicts has to involve the full scope of society: international organizations, governments, NGOs and in particular the communities who bear the brunt of destruction to property.
As I have stated many times on this blog, wildlife conservation in Africa is not straightforward. It is always a balancing act between the needs of people and animals.
Mark D. Jordahl