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Über dieses Buch

This book sheds new light on the causes and consequences of elephant migration in the Panchet Forest Division of Bankura District in West Bengal, India- an area characterized by fragmented forested landscape modified by agriculture and settlement expansion. Anthropogenic activities result in the decline in quality and coverage of forests, loss of biodiversity and removal of forest corridors which ultimately restrict or modify the movement of elephants causing a forceful change of their habitats.
A major objective of this monograph is to identify the characteristics of man–elephant conflicts in terms of land use change, cropping patterns, ecological characteristics of the fragmented dry deciduous forest, trends and patterns of elephant migration, and livelihood patterns of the inhabitants in the affected areas. Readers will discover insights into changes in the behavioral pattern of elephants and local people in the conflict ridden zones, and how this influences food selection. Through this book we also learn about rational management strategies that can be employed on the local and national level to mitigate human-elephant conflicts.
Ecologists, landscape conservation planners and environmental managers engaged in the conservation of large vertebrates in fragmenting and human-dominated landscapes will find this book valuable.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
Chapter 1 is an introductory chapter. This chapter initially focusses on the issue of human–elephant conflict worldwide, with special emphasis on the countries of South East Asia and Africa because in these areas the problem is severe. A large body of literature was critically reviewed to understand the severity of the problem. It is also helpful to become familiar with previous research, including the methodology and perspective of work done in this field. This chapter also suggests the causes and consequences of human–elephant conflict throughout the elephant habitats of the world. Next, it focusses on the typical characteristics of human–elephant conflict in the author’s study area, West Bengal state. A detailed introduction of the study area is given, and a location map, administrative units, forest units, ecological background and more information are provided. Research questions are delineated and objectives (both general and specific objectives) are set accordingly. The objectives cover different dimensions to the issue, such as characterising elephant habitats, analysing elephant migration behaviour, assessing habitat intervention and its consequences, modelling the habitat–elephant relationship and studying the nature of human–elephant conflict. The text describes data collection procedures as well as the methodologies adopted here.
Nilanjana Das Chatterjee

Chapter 2. Ecological Biodiversity of Panchet Forest Division and Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary

Abstract
This chapter starts with a detailed characterisation of the human–elephant conflict zone. We describe both the source and destination regions, providing information on their location, physiographic, climatic natural vegetation and administrative characteristics. We applied a variety of landscape ecological techniques to determine the ecological character of the studied area. A spatial analysis of heterogeneity was calculated through different patch metrics, including edge density, forest core, patch shape and Euclidean nearest-neighbour metrics, using FRAGSTATS and ArcGIS software. Moreover, detailed field survey–based information on the composition, pattern and association of plant species was collected through randomly selected microhabitats covering all forest beats (forest administrative units) of both the Dalma Forest area and the Panchet Forest Division. The nature of forests as elephant habitats was measured through patch arrangement and fractal dimension techniques. We identified different factors behind forest fragmentation, for example, temporal change in forest cover, shrinkage of forest cover because of agriculture and settlement expansion, construction of railways and roads, mining and quarrying activities. Patterns of temporal change in land use/land cover in general and forest cover in particular were identified by analysing Landsat TM images of 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2014. Finally, the effects of factors such as the construction of roadways and railways, mining and quarrying activities and forest encroachment in both the source and destination regions were examined through cartographic diagrams and geographical information systems.
Nilanjana Das Chatterjee

Chapter 3. Habitat Requirements of the Elephant

Abstract
This chapter is based on the behavioural analysis of the elephant. Elephants are biologically not a seasonal migratory species. But in this case the movement of the elephants is found to be seasonal and repetitive. Each year they used to move from their original habitat (Dalma) to the destination habitat (Panchet Forest Division). They stayed a certain period in the destination area and after that returned back to their original habitat. One of the main objectives of this research work is to trace the reasons for such atypical behaviour. To do so, it is necessary to identify the home range of elephants. A detailed review work was done to characterise the home range of elephants over varied landscapes in the Indian subcontinent and in the study area. Not only have forest statistics been used to reveal the facts of migration, but field enquiry has also been required to identify the exact cause. The nature of food habits, nutritional requirements and changing food habits in the newly invented habitat are elucidated through empirical survey. The character of shelter is delineated by examining the forest cover, vegetation succession, ground coverage, distance from water source, road, noise and so on. These factors are responsible for both the fragmentation of the natural forest habitat and the movement of elephants within the forest patches.
Nilanjana Das Chatterjee

Chapter 4. Habitat–Wildlife Relationship and Different Models

Abstract
After getting the habitat characteristics of the study area, we tried to establish the habitat–wildlife relationship with the help of different models. Habitat heterogeneity is the main controlling factor for the movement of animals within different forest patches in the study area. Different variables, such as pattern of energy/nutrient and water flow or quality and composition of plant species, were plotted. By applying models of vegetation composition and structure—a disturbance model, a gap analysis model and a habitat suitability model—we established the relationship between elephants and the habitat in the Panchet Forest area. Ecological information was plotted against different manmade factors like abundance of plant species and distance from motorable road; concentration of pond and distance from forest core; and forest edge distance and abundance of plant species to obtain the impact of anthropogenic activities on the elephant habitat. A gap analysis model was applied to identify gaps in the conservation area. This model is helpful for getting the zones of floral species’ richness or ‘hot spot’ or rarity. Accordingly, the habitat or niche of a specific animal is determined. A habitat suitability model was applied to show the habitat–animal relationship. We took a number of environmental variables into consideration.
Nilanjana Das Chatterjee

Chapter 5. Elephant Migration and Dispersal: A Biogeographic Process

Abstract
This chapter focuses on the biogeographical processes of elephant migration. The chapter is based on different dimensions of elephant migration in the study area. It starts by briefly reviewing the historical perspectives of elephant migration. Secondary information on the number of migrated elephants and the duration of stay in the destination habitat was collected from different forest beat, range and divisional forest offices and was analysed through statistical tools. Migration routes and their temporal shift have been identified through geographic information systems and were verified by ground information. When one analyses the nature and characteristics of elephant movement, some interesting facts come up. There is a strong relationship between crop calendar and migration and it can be seen that the movement is season-dependent. These facts were justified by correlating different variables and are represented through different cartograms. Movements of elephants within different patches were tracked and depicted in forest fragment maps. It may be useful to forecast the movement of elephants to avoid conflicts and agricultural loss. Another tendency is that migrated elephants turn into residential elephants, which becomes a major issue in the destination habitat as it raises the issue of human–elephant conflict as well as that of conflict between residential elephant and migrated elephant. This chapter addresses both of these issues.
Nilanjana Das Chatterjee

Chapter 6. Characterising the Human–Elephant Conflict Zone

Abstract
This chapter discusses the characterisation of the human–elephant conflict zone. The demographics of the study area is represented by a rural, agriculture-based population. About 92.63 % of the total population are rural; 61.5 % of the workers are cultivators; 88.1 % of the population are agricultural labourers; 31.7 % of the populace belong to Scheduled Caste and 7.2 % to Scheduled Tribe (Bureau of Applied Economics & Statistics 2005). As evident from these statistics, the livelihood in such a zone is mainly based on agriculture. Apart from agriculture, the collection of non-timber forest products is the major source of income in forest fringe villages. The land use pattern is dominated by three major uses: agriculture, settled area and forest area. A change detection study covering the past 40 years showed a great change in the land use pattern. The total forest area has increased, but the forest area has fragmented and is covered by monospecies. Agricultural land has gradually expanded. Field observation revealed that paddy and vegetables are the main agricultural products. These changes in the land use pattern attract elephants. As a result, human–elephant conflict has become a crucial issue because of its associated loss of life, property and agricultural product. At the same time, local inhabitants use different protective measures at the community level to deal with the issue. This chapter uses a variety of diagrams to represent these facts.
Nilanjana Das Chatterjee

Chapter 7. Behavioural Study

Abstract
This chapter addresses behavioural aspects of both elephants and humans in the context of increased conflict. A behavioural study is an important means of understanding the habitat–animal relationship. It gives ideas about the distribution, abundance and needs of the animal. Behavioural analysis reveals how animals actively use their environment. A behavioural study entails three general categories—structure, consequence and spatial relation. These three aspects have been covered. A perception survey technique was applied, supported by a pre-structured questionnaire to learn people’s attitude towards elephants. Random samples were collected from affected villages. The result revealed some crucial facts. With these facts, theme maps were prepared for visualisation. Parallel emphasis was also given to the changing behaviour of elephants. Elephant behaviour should be considered before implementing any policy or strategy. Analysis of elephant behaviour is crucial in a human-modified landscape. Elephants face continuous pressure because forest personnel and local peoples are chasing them away. As a result, their behaviour has changed drastically. Specifically, the solitary bull, isolated from the herd, is more aggressive towards humans. Moreover, in our behavioural analysis we incorporated the behaviour of local peoples as well as that of forest department personnel, because their behaviour has created a problematic situation for the successful management of human–elephant conflict.
Nilanjana Das Chatterjee

Chapter 8. Conclusion

Abstract
This is the concluding chapter of the book. It portrays different aspects of human suffering caused by conflict with elephants and suggests ways to combat the situation. Some thematic maps have been prepared depicting the villages affected by elephant attack. Maps of increased crop damage have been prepared and compare decadal data. Attempts of the forest department and the problems it faces are also depicted. The existing land use pattern is also responsible for the situation. Thus, we considered all these factors while applying any policy to improve the situation. Ultimately, people’s support is essential for any strategy or plan to be successful. After analysing the typical situation of the study area, we proposed some mitigation and management measures. Some of the management measures have already been applied to similar cases at the national level. However, some significant proposals that are very case-specific should be useful at a local level only. The route of elephant migration and temporal route shift that we have prepared may be useful not only to the forest department but also to the affected communities. All the results of each chapter are written in the form of major findings in this concluding chapter, in an effort to draw some practicable management and peaceful coexistence between humans and elephants in the study area.
Nilanjana Das Chatterjee

Backmatter

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