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Using Technology to Reduce Human/Wildlife Conflicts

Monday, 13 October 2008 01:34 by BillGiven

I found a very interesting article today about elephants in Kenya wearing satellite collars that will send text messages to a ranger when they cross a conservancy boundary onto farm lands.  Elephants can destroy crops leading to devastating economic impacts for the farming communities neighboring safari areas.  This often leads to the killing of elephants but using this technology to warn of a potential marauding elephants allows for a ranger to intercept the elephant and harrass it back into the conservancy, resulting in saving the crops and most likely the elephant too.  Due to the social learning nature of elephants hopefully over time if elephants are effectively turned away from the crops the specific individuals will avoid the activity but also not teach future generations to crop raid either.  Hopefully as this method gains wider application it will remain successful.  The full article can be read here.

For my own research purposes it is likely that we will collar some lions to monitor if they approach livestock or not once they have been treated with our conditioned taste aversion method.  Having a warning via text message could allow us to get into a good observation position to observe the behavior of our subjects when they enter the cattle farms.