Lahugala nr. Arugam Bay

Saving Elephants by Helping People, Sri Lanka

The Lahugala National Park at 1,500 hectares is one of Sri Lanka’s smallest national parks and is situated in the Ampara District and is supposed to have an elephant population of 300. The Ampara and Monaragala Districts of Sri Lanka cover 7,133 and 2,984 square kilometers respectively and are known as the Eastern Region and have 9 Protected Areas. Though a large number of elephants are supposed to be in this region there is sparse data on the actual number of elephants or the intensity of HEC.

The Sri Lanka Wildlife Conservation Society (SLWCS) with supporting partners is establishing a solar-powered electric fence to protect four villages situated along the southern boundary of the Lahugala National Park, which is at the center of the proposed study area.

This project will use participatory research methods to assess socio economic information of villagers and use direct and non-direct field research methods to estimate elephant populations and their range and behavior over temporal and spatial scales in the Eastern Region.

The anticipated outputs are:

  1. the construction of a 15-kiolometer solar powered electric fence with local community participation;
  2. resolution of human-elephant conflicts along the boundary of the Lahugala Kitulana National Park;
  3. the establishment of a critical elephant corridor connecting the Yala National Park to the Lahugala Kitulana National Park;
  4. the establishment of Managed Elephant Regions;
  5. reliable information on HEC;
  6. a better understanding of community perceptions in regard to HEC;
  7. a greater information base to develop effective and sustainable management strategies;
  8. a GIS mapping of distribution and HEC data to aid in management efforts; and
  9. proposals, maps, reports and recommendations for further project

    source:
    http://projectelephant.net/As_Saving20071a.php

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