A computational modelling approach to human-elephant interactions in the Bunda District, Tanzania
Agent-based and GIS-based models of human-elephant interactions were developed and integrated to evaluate and recommend the best management mitigation strategies to either reduce or eradicate the adverse impacts of human-elephant interactions in the Bunda District, Tanzania. The model estimated the appropriate minimum elephant and human populations, and geographical distances from the edges of protected areas, rivers and conservation corridors. The model results from each modelling scenario were analysed for comparative performance, where minimal recorded incidents of crop damage, human deaths, elephant deaths, and hidden impacts were the primary focus. Selection of the best performing scenario based on the magnitude of the reduction and eradication of adverse impact(s). However, for each selection of the best scenario(s), there were costs that a model user must incur, as there was no cost-free scenario. Reduction of any of the adverse impacts may run counter to fiscal, conservation, land and socioeconomic policies. Therefore, the model user may select the best scenario within the constraints of these policies. It is recommended that the adoption of the best scenario should not rely solely on the type of adverse impacts but also tolerance and resilience level of elephants and the well-being of the affected people. Therefore, the capabilities of people, elephants, and conservationists to accept, tolerate and, ultimately, to recover from a certain level o... [Show full abstract]
Keywordshuman-elephant conflicts; Serengeti National Park; Ecological modelling; agentbased models; African elephant; Bunda district; Ecology
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