Values for and Tolerance towards Elephants (Elephas maximus maximus) In and Around Victoria-Randenigala-Rantambe Sanctuary

M.G.C. Sooriyabandara


Human-wild elephant conflict poses a great challenge to wildlife managers, conservationists
and local people. This conflict occurs where elephants and humans utilise the same habitat. In
order to address this conflict it is critical to understand local people‟s value and tolerance
level for the wild elephants. In this study local people‟s perceptions and beliefs about
elephants are presented. The analysis was based on household survey assessing human
perceptions of elephant conservation issues in and around Victoria-Randenigala-Rantambe
Sanctuary. Structured interviews were conducted during the period of February to August,
2014. During that period, 345 households were interviewed. PASW statistics 18 software was
used to run a Principle Component Analysis (PCA) with varimax rotation separately with 09
value and 11 tolerance statements. One way Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was used to
compare mean value and tolerance differences across independent variables. Results showed
that local people highly value but have moderate tolerance for elephants. Higher values and
tolerance for elephants were significantly influenced by household wealth and length of
residency. Furthermore, high resource-use and living close to the forest resulted in lower
values and tolerance levels for elephants. Conservation education, improved compensation
programmes and participatory approaches are suggested as techniques that could increase
tolerance levels for elephants.

Keywords: Human-wild elephant conflict, Tolerance, Principle Component Analysis

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Proceedings of International Forestry and Environment Symposium, Sri Lanka. Published by Department of Forestry and Environmental Science, University of Sri Jayewardenepura